All Topics / General Property / Water Rates and Usage paid by Landlord?

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  • Profile photo of kong71286kong71286
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    @kong71286
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    Is it true that in South Australia the Water Rates and Usage is paid by the landlord?

    Paying for water rates as a landlord sounds reasonable, but having to pay for your tenant's consumption of water doesn't

    What would you do if your tenant was very wasteful with water usage and left the water taps on all the time?

    Profile photo of CatalystCatalyst
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    @catalyst
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    All part of property investing. If that's the law then I guess you have no choice. You could get the agent to give them a ring and ask about it. Go out and check that there are no leaks. Let the tenant know you are concerned about the high bill and kindly mention that you may need to put the rent up if the bills remain high..

    In NSW taps need to be water efficient.

    I've met landlords that don't bother collecting the water usage. I think this is crazy. I have one house that always has a usage of over $150 a quarter. That's $600 that's not out of my pocket AND that's just on one property.

    Profile photo of Richard TaylorRichard Taylor
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    @qlds007
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    Put up the weekly rent to accomadate this come lease renewal time.

    Tenant will soon get the message and move or be more considerate of his water useage.

    Cheers

    Yours in Finance

    Richard Taylor | Mortgage Broker helping investors build their wealth thru property
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    0-40 Properties in a decade with a unencumbered portfolio value in excess of $40M. Ask me for a copy of my API Interview.

    Profile photo of Jamie MooreJamie Moore
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    Catalyst wrote:

    I've met landlords that don't bother collecting the water usage. I think this is crazy. I have one house that always has a usage of over $150 a quarter. That's $600 that's not out of my pocket AND that's just on one property.

    I'm guilty of this….accross a few properties too. I should really pull my finger out and get onto it.

    Cheers

    Jamie

    Jamie Moore | Pass Go Home Loans Pty Ltd
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    Profile photo of Jacqui MiddletonJacqui Middleton
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    I would be very interested to hear if anyone has opted to put the rent up to cover excessive water consumption and been taken to VCAT (or equivalent) and had the rent rise over-ruled on the basis that the rent is above market rent in the area?

    Jacqui Middleton | Middleton Buyers Advocates
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    VIC Buyers' Agents for investors, home buyers & SMSFs.

    Profile photo of wilko1wilko1
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    @wilko1
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    standard SA tenancy agreements have the option to select either the owner to pay water supply and usage.

    the owner to pay supply and all usage forwarded to the tenant.

    and a combination of the both where the owner will pay UP to i think its like 137 KL (Anyway it works up to usage of about $50-$60 (combined with your sewage and water supply charges)). Any extra gets charged to the Tennant.

    I think charging usage is the way to go.

    Its also a way of increasing the rent without increasing the rent if you have properties that are not currently charging usage.

    Tennant gets the same rent and you get your usage covered. Always works better with a tenancy manager for some reason.

    Profile photo of kong71286kong71286
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    @kong71286
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    Thanks for the input

    So the best way to deal with this is to have a clause in the contract that states that the landlord will pay up to 137KL per year, and any excess is to be paid by the tenant?

    Profile photo of wilko1wilko1
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    @wilko1
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    Or have them pay all usage charges.. Its actually easier. Because the figure is calculated in the bill and there will be no arguments. When you try to calculate the amount over the 137Kl, you constantly have to check that its been calculated correctly and if you have more then a few investment properties this can be tiring. Tennant's should pay for water usage.

    Profile photo of CatalystCatalyst
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    JacM wrote:
    I would be very interested to hear if anyone has opted to put the rent up to cover excessive water consumption and been taken to VCAT (or equivalent) and had the rent rise over-ruled on the basis that the rent is above market rent in the area?

    You don't have to stipulate that's why you are putting it up. Mention it as I said then if it doesn't improve just put the rent up. They might get the hint.

    Profile photo of Jacqui MiddletonJacqui Middleton
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    You are correct Catalyst – you don't have to stipulate why you are putting the rent up – but it is certainly the case in VIC that if the tenant so desires, they can take you to VCAT on the basis of rent rise that is not in line with market rent for similar dwellings in the area.

    Jacqui Middleton | Middleton Buyers Advocates
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    VIC Buyers' Agents for investors, home buyers & SMSFs.

    Profile photo of CatalystCatalyst
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    You are not talking big money here (for one property). Put the rent up $10 a week. They can't argue VCAT over a $10 difference. Well they can try but really!!!! Let's be realistic.

    Profile photo of Shiny_Suit_ManShiny_Suit_Man
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    One would assume though that if you justified the $10 rent rise that VCAT couldn't say that it is unreasonable correct?

    I have a friend who recently moved out of a rental property after being there 3 years in QLD.  Only received one water bill for usage after being there just shy of 12 months which was paid.  Upon receiving the all clear for the bond to be released before submitting the paperwork the agent managing the property noticed the lack of water bills and decided to take it upon themselves to calculate and invoice the tenant for the "usage" based on their own rate.  At no point did they contact the owners to talk to them about it.  Our friends contacted the RTA and after a few conversations/emails the tenants ended up paying less than half of the calculated value.

    The tenants were more than happy to pay for their usage, they argued because of the manner the real estate just slugged them with 3 years worth of water without actually seeing a usage bill.  They also had no recollection of the first usage bill that was paid even though it was clearly listed on the tenant ledger.  The nerve of some property managers!!

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