All Topics / Help Needed! / charge tenants for water

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  • Profile photo of BreakEvenBreakEven
    Join Date: 2006
    Post Count: 80

    I have never thought of charging tenants for water usage as it is usually incorporated into the rates (in Brisbane). Therefore billed directly to me.

    But I noticed the RTA forms have a section under Item 11: The services supplied to the premises for which the tenant must pay –

    11.2 If the tenant must pay for water supplied to the premises.

    I did a bit of research on the net and found that some landlords stipulate that the tenant pay the water bill. Do any of you guys do the same thing and how do you work this in QLD?



    “I have a BMW. But only because BMW stands for Bob Marley and The Wailers, and not because I need an expensive car.”

    Profile photo of raddlesraddles
    Join Date: 2006
    Post Count: 187

    the standard residential tenancy agreements says as follows
    17 Water service charges – ss 90(1A) and 91A
    (1) The tenant must pay a water service charge for water supplied to
    the premises, including water fit for human consumption delivered
    to the premises by vehicle, if –
    (a) this agreement states for item11.2 the tenant must pay for
    water supplied to the premises; and
    (b) the premises are individually metered for the supply or the
    water is delivered to the premises by vehicle.
    (2) However, the tenant does not have to pay –
    a) for water for which the lessor should reasonably be liable; or
    b) an amount for the supply that is more than the amount
    charged by the relevant supply authority for the quantity of
    water supplied.
    (3) The tenant must pay the amount of the charge to the lessor within
    1 month of the lessor giving the tenant copies of relevant
    documents about the incurring of the amount.
    Note: If there is a dispute about how much water (or any other
    service charge) the tenant should pay, the lessor or the
    tenant may attempt to resolve the dispute by conciliation.
    See the information statement for details.

    I have noticed on some of the water bills we are starting to get a breakdown between the standard charge for provision of water and sewerage and the actual water consumption.
    The first charge would be borned by the landlord and the actual consumption would be borne by the tenant.
    Based on the above section – the main thing is to be reasonable – because if you don’t claim it from the tenant you can still claim it on tax

    Profile photo of Opportunity In EverythingOpportunity In Everything
    Join Date: 2006
    Post Count: 122

    Any charges should be outlined and agreed to in writing before the commencement of the tenancy agreement. The landlord is required to provide a reasonable amount of water and generally this is considered to be factored into the weekly rental for the property. You may consider adding somthing similar to this as a condition in the lease agreement and in your instructions to the agent (if relevant). This condition would cover any access charge to the water supply being payable by the landlord.

    The tenants will incur any charges for water usage over the allocated amounts in the table and per the number of occupants as noted on the rental agreement. Water usage over this amount will incur a water a charge as prescribed by the appropriate City or Shire Council.

    It is important that your water meter is read on the commencement of the tenancy (in the space provided on the entry condition report) and on the expiration of the tenancy. It’s also important that the tenant advises the property manager immediately if, for example, there are leaking taps, or if the pool has sprung a leak and needs to be topped up with water every week. These water amounts are for Level 4 water restrictions and may change if Higher Level water restrictions are introduced.

    By written notice to the tenant any amount in excess of the allocation table will be payable to the agent on behalf of the owner within 14 days from the date of the notice.

    Number of Occupants entered on Lease Kilolitres / Year

    1 80 Kltrs
    2 140 Kltrs
    3 165 Kltrs
    4 180 Kltrs
    5 210 Kltrs

    At the end of the day any challenge to the reasonable supply of water to rental premises in Qld and ultimately, whether or not the tenant is liable for the increased water costs would be a matter for the Small Claims Tribunal.

    Opportunity in everythinng

    Profile photo of emptypocketsemptypockets
    Join Date: 2006
    Post Count: 35

    when I worked as a property officer we charged all tennants for water usage. We were the only REA in the area that did this. The other offices thought it was too much paper work.

    Profile photo of bendbanksbendbanks
    Join Date: 2007
    Post Count: 46

    Okay here is how it works;
    QLD: tenants can only pay for excess water and excess water only
    NSW & VIC: can be made to pay all of it IF it is in the lease

    I’m getting more and more cases of this of late.So change your lease to include this as the cost to go to small claims to cahse a tenant for this is generally a upfront fee plus a commission.

    Hope this helps.

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