25 May 2010

Townsville Landlords Ponder 100% Water Charging


Landlords may seek to explore Water Charging provisions in the Residential Tenancy and Rooming Accommodation (RTRA) Act from October 2010 as Townsville City Council introduces separate water charging notices to property owners.

Under the RTRA Act, Landlords can transfer 100% of water usage charges from the Council to the Tenant if the Landlord's property meets the following criteria;

1. the rental premises are individually metered (or water is delivered by vehicle), and
2. the rental premises are water efficient, and
3. the tenancy agreement states the tenant must pay for water consumption.

Rapid Realty's Principal in Townsville, Aaron McLeod is urging Real Estate professionals to consult with their Landlords to seek direction and instructions regarding the most appropriate way forward, aiming for a fair and reasonable outcome for all concerned.

The purpose of the residential tenancy legislation being introduced was to ensure water resources are used in a more sustainable and responsible manner by households and consumers.

As most people would agree, water is the most valuable natural resource available to the community and it must be managed accordingly.

For more information on water charging from the perspective of Landlords and residential Tenants, the RTA website offers useful guidelines and a fact sheet at www.rta.qld.gov.au/index.cfm

Real Estate agencies and tradesmen that need a more detailed appreciation of the water charging legislation that covers the types of products and the standard to which they must comply with the federal legislation, the WELS (Water Efficiency and Labelling and Standards Scheme) website is a useful source of information at www.waterrating.gov.au/

Mr Mcleod clarified that residential tenants with an existing tenancy agreement which does not specify 100% water charging is applicable are most likely on a scheme that allows the Landlord to charge excess water usage only. The property must still be separately metered.