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13

March

2014

Charging Water usage for tenants

There has been some confusion of late with the when, how and why of charging a tenant for water usage. Firstly, as most of you are aware, your Investment Property must be deemed to be water compliant. This can be done in a number of ways, the easiest of which is to contact our office and arrange for a plumber to make the necessary changes.

//homerentals.com.au/sc/default/img/water1.jpgThe premises must be individually metered for water as well as being classed as water efficient. The following link from the RTA website indicates the necessary requirements. http://www.rta.qld.gov.. As can be seen from these requirements, the cost to make certain houses compliant can vary greatly, depending on the age of the property and the state of the toilets. A quote from our plumbers to assess the cost will normally be around $120.  However, a plumber must certify that the premises is water compliant and supply our office with a certificate. A water meter reading will also be done at this time as part of our property management services.

The legislation states that the water usage must be charged within 30 days of receiving a rates notice. This would imply that we cannot backdate water usage when a tenant vacates or retrospectively after your property becomes water compliant. The tenant has 30 days to reimburse this money once an invoice has been sent.

Therefore, if you wish to charge your tenant for water, we would kindly ask that if your property is deemed as water compliant, that you send your rates notice to our office immediately upon receiving  it with instructions to charge the tenants for their water consumption. This will incur a small charge to cover our administrative costs.

One other thought is that some owners do not charge their tenants for water usage as they feel they may not look after the lawns and gardens as well as they should. Food for thought.

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