Charging water to tenants
In order for an Owner to be able to pass on water costs to tenants the property must meet the following criteria:
– The rental property must be individually metered
– The rental property must be water efficient
To on charge water costs to the tenant, it must be stated on the tenancy agreement and signed by the tenants. If the property is made water efficient during a tenancy, the tenant is required to agree in writing to pay for consumption from the date the property is made efficient. If the tenant does not accept this, the new condition will need to be entered into the new lease at the time of renewal.
Complying with water efficiency:
In order for a rental property to be considered water efficient, all cold water taps, showerheads and toilets must meet the WELS rating of 3 stars or higher. For example, cold water taps must have a maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minute. It is best to obtain a water efficient certificate through a qualified plumber.
How do I know if the property is water efficient?
To determine the presence of water efficient devices where it may be unclear, the below items can be referred to too establish efficiency:
• plumbing reports
• warranties or instruction manuals for taps and showerheads, etc.
Obtaining a Water Efficiency Certificate:
A water efficiency certificate is required as proof of efficiency in order for the tenant to be charged full consumption. To obtain one, a qualified plumber should be engaged to test and/or install efficiency measures and provide you with a certificate.
Invoicing to the tenant:
Invoices are received by Urban Utilities quarterly.
• You can chose to have the water invoices forwarded to your managing agency, a payment will be made for the full amount of the invoice, from rent holdings held on behalf of the owner.
• If invoices are sent to the lessor (owner), then it is your responsibility to pay the invoice and forward a copy to your managing agent. It is good practice to invoice the tenant within twenty one (21) days of the invoice being received or paid.
• An invoice will be created and issued to the tenant/s as per their tenancy agreement. As per QLD legislation the tenants have 30 days to pay their charges from the date of invoice.
What can the tenants be charged if the property is water compliance?
Tenants can be charged for:
• State Bulk Water Charges
• Water Usage Charges
Can the tenants be charged if the property is not water complaint?
Excess water usage can only be charged to tenants if the property is not water efficient. Excess charges need to be specified on the tenancy agreement in order for the charges to be passed to the tenants.
Understanding your Urban Utilities water bill:
This indicates that the property is individually metered.
Previous Date – Current Date:
This indicates the period in which the water usage was recorded and used. If the commencement date of the lease is after the previous water meter reading date, the water meter reading recorded on the Entry Condition Report at the commencement of the tenancy is used to calculate the chargeable water usage amount.
State Bulk Water Price:
If the property is water efficient, these charges are payable by the tenant.
Local Government Distributor-Retailer Price:
These charges are payable by the tenant if the property is water efficient.
Fixed Access Charges:
These amounts are the responsibility of the owner.
• For a RTA Water Fact Sheet please click here