Payment for Water Usage, in the Rental Arrangement

Summer is approaching, and along with this much loved season often comes higher water usage. After all, we live in a hot climate and extra cold shower or two often doesn’t go astray, particularly after being at the beach or working in the garden. In some cases there may be a much used pool that needs to be topped up, or a prize garden that needs watering. If you own your property, then you are probably very conscious of your water usage as excess water usage can be expensive. But what if you’re renting? Who pays for water then?

In most cases this should be negotiated at the beginning of a tenancy and noted in the tenancy agreement. The general rule is however that landlords are allowed to pass on the full water consumption costs to tenants if all minimum criteria has been met. The minimum criteria are: 1. The premises are individually metered (or water is vehicle delivered) 2. The rental premises are water efficient (ie taps/showers fitted with water efficient plumbing & approved dual flush toilets). 3. The tenancy agreement states the tenant is responsible for water consumption. Real estate Browns Plains agents can help to negotiate terms relating to water usage and charges.

Lessors or agents can demonstrate the presence of water efficient devices via plumbing reports, “Home WaterWise” services, packaging and or warranties and instruction manuals for installed devices. If tenants are deemed to be responsible for whole or part payment of the following process could be expected. The lessor or agent will receive the water bill, pay the full amount and then provide the tenant with a copy to verify the amount being charged. The tenants have one month in which to pay the agreed amount. Property rentals Logan will assist with any disputes or enquiries about water usage charges. The lessor cannot require the tenant to pay more than the billable amount or charge late fees. The lessor is to pay all fixed charges for water supply.

It is often a good idea to take the water meeting reading and keep a record to help calculate water consumption. If for any reason the lessor and tenant are unable to agree about water charges the RTA’s Dispute Resolutions Service may be able to assist. This is usually unnecessary; however the service is available if needed. If entering into a rental agreement this summer, be sure that everyone is clear on what is expected in regards to water usage and who pays. If everyone is aware of the expectations then nasty unwanted surprise bills can be avoided through careful and responsible water consumption.

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