Understanding water charging in rentals

Understanding water charging in rentals

Tenants can only be charged for water consumption if:

  • the property is individually metered (or water is delivered by vehicle), and
  • the property is water efficient, and
  • the tenancy agreement states the tenant must pay for water consumption

The property owner must pay all fixed charges; tenants cannot be charged more than the billable amount.

 

Proving water efficiency

It is a good idea for owners to be able to demonstrate the presence of water-efficient fittings by having copies of:

  • plumbing reports (or compliance certification)
  • receipts
  • packaging
  • warranties or instruction manuals for taps and showerheads

 

Water-efficient property

A property is considered water efficient if certain water fixtures meet these standards:

WATER-EFFICIENT DEVICES MINIMUM STANDARD
Internal cold water taps and single mixer taps (excluding bathtub taps and taps for appliances) A maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minute
Showerheads A maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minute
Toilets A dual flush function not exceeding 6.5 litres on full flush and 3.5 litres on half flush and a maximum average flush volume of 4 litres (based on the average of 1 full flush and 4 half flushes)

 

Property is not water efficient

If the property is not water efficient, but individually metered and the tenancy agreement states the tenant must pay for water, the owner must pay for a ‘reasonable amount’ of water consumption and the tenant may be required to pay excess water charges.

 

Information courtesy of the Residential Tenancy Authority; visit www.rta.qld.gov.au for more.