Water Invoicing in Queensland Tenancies

 

Water invoicing is a commonly confused topic, and one that we regularly answer client and tenant queries on.

So what are the rules?… and more importantly what does it mean for the Landlord and Tenant?

In Queensland, Lessors are able to pass on full water consumption charges 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.

Note that the tenant is not liable for the full water invoice, even in a water efficient property.  They can be charged the state bulk water charges and water usage charges. They cannot be charged the fixed access charges or the sewage charges.

The image shows a good example of this.

What else do you need to know?

  • Legislation states that an invoice raised to the Tenant must allow one month for the tenant to pay.
  • If a home is not water efficient, the Lessor must pay for a ‘reasonable’ amount of water – and what is ‘reasonable’ should be agreed upon in the tenancy agreement.
  • Water invoicing periods don’t align with lease periods, so the water meter is read on the entry and exit reports for the tenancy in order to calculate usage by the tenant
  • Tenants do not pay the water supply authority directly

So what is a ‘water efficient’ property?

  • Showerheads, internal cold water taps and single mixer taps (excluding bathtub taps and taps for appliances) should have a maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minute
  • Toilets should be dual flush and not exceed 6.5 litres on full flush and 3.5 litres on half flush. Maximum average flush volume should be 4 litres (on the average of 1 full and 4 half flushes).

And how can you tell if the property is water efficient?

From 2005, any water fixtures produced that meet the 3star or higher WELS rating comply. Other ways to demonstrate water efficiency include plumbing reports, or packaging, receipts or warranties for fixtures.

We hope you find this information helpful, and welcome any queries either general or specific in nature.

Beyond Property Management.