Charging Tenants Water Consumption

Water Consumption charges can be passed onto the tenants providing that the property is water efficient and separately metered.

The most efficient way to pass on Water Consumption Charges to the tenants is to nominated Managed by Noeline to receive the Water Rates Notices directly from the Local Authority. This in turn means that the Water Rates will be paid from rent collected, a copy of the notice will be provided to you with your Rental Statement and the Tenants are automatically invoiced.

There are no prescribed requirements for invoice timeframes, although the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Regulation 2009 states that tenants “must pay the amount of the [water consumption] charge to the lessor within 1 month of the lessor giving the tenant copies of relevant documents about the incurring of the amount”.

If you opt to continuing to pay Water Rates directly, it is highly recommended that you provide us with a copy of the Water Consumption as soon as you are in receipt.

A recent Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) case highlights the importance of providing timely water use charges to tenants.

Ms Stilgoe stated it was “unreasonable for a lessor to withhold water charges, issue an invoice that covers a significant period and a significant amount, and then be surprised if the tenant cannot, or will not, pay the full amount.

“A tenant is entitled to be made aware of the cost of water consumption as and when the invoices fall due.”

QCAT advises property managers, owners and tenants to be aware of their rights and obligations through review of:

the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (particularly sections 166 and 169) and its regulation the Residential Tenancies Authority’s water charging fact sheet QCAT decisions in residential tenancy matters at the Supreme Court Library Queensland’s website.