Water charges and water compliance - purerealestategroup

Water charging and water compliance

In order for a lessor to charge tenants for full water consumption, the property must meet the following criteria:

  • The rental property is individually metered
  • The rental property is water efficient

To on charge the water payments to the tenants, it must be stated on the tenancy agreement and signed by the tenants. If the property is made water efficient during a tenancy, the tenant is required to agree in writing to pay for consumption from the date the property is made efficient. If the tenant does not accept this, the new condition will need to be included in the new lease at the time of renewal.

Complying with water efficiency
In order for a rental property to be considered water efficient, all cold water taps, shower heads and toilets must meet the WELS rating of 3 stars or higher. For example, cold water taps and shower heads must have a maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minute and toilets must have a dual-flush function that meets the minimum requirements.

How do I know if the property is water efficient?
Water efficiency can be determined by looking through plumbing reports, receipts, packaging or warranties and instruction manuals for plumbing tap wear.  For example, many dishwashers display the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) rating on the instruction manuals as well as on the dishwasher upon purchase.

Obtaining a Water Efficiency Certificate
A water efficiency certificate is required as proof of efficiency in order for the tenant to be charged full consumption. To obtain one, a plumber should be engaged to test and/or install efficiency measures and provide you with a certificate. Pure Real Estate is happy to arrange a plumber to inspect the property (costs to be paid by the owner and this is generally around $120-$200 for the inspection plus the cost of efficiency measures required).

The procedure
Invoices are received by Urban Utilities four times per year.

  • If the invoices are sent directly to Pure Real Estate, a payment will be made for the full amount of the invoice, in which rent will be held from the lessor to the amount of the water charges.
  • If invoices are sent to the lessor, then it is your responsibility to either pay the invoice and send a copy of the invoice to Pure Real Estate, or send the invoice to Pure Real Estate to create a payment on your behalf.
  • Pure Real Estate on-charges the tenants per their tenancy agreement within seven days of receiving the Urban Utilities invoice. Per legislation the tenants have 30 days to pay their charges.

If the property complies with the criteria, what can the tenants be charged?
Tenants can be charged for:

  • State Bulk Water Charges
  • Water Usage Charges