Property MasterClass – Water Charging In Queensland


Heeeeeelp, I don’t understand what needs to happen in order to charge my tenants for water?! Sound like a familiar concern? Don’t worry by the end of this article you will be an expert…

In a nutshell there are three requirements for you to be able to charge:

  1. The property must have its own individual water meter which allows us to measure the water consumption of the tenant.
  2. The property must be water efficient as per RTA requirements.
  3. The lease agreement must allow for charging of water to tenants.


How do I know if my property has its own water meter? The easiest way is to check page two of the water rates notice. If the property doesn’t have its own meter the rates notice will measure usage based on a shared meter. It will often say something to the effect: “your shared water usage…”. If it has a meter and a meter number noted then success you have your own water meter.

How do I know if my property is water efficient? If you bought your property from a builder then they will be able to confirm if the fixtures meet the required standards. You can request this direct from them. If your property is second hand you can have a plumber attend and confirm for approx. $125. Please ask us to arrange this for you if so.

How much money would I likely be able to recover if I could charge for water? This question is of course a “how long is a piece of string?” question, but very generally a unit’s water charges would be approximately $340 per annum and a house with lawns would be typically $600 per annum. It can be much more or less though depending on the water use of the tenants.

What charges can be passed on from the water rates notice and what can’t? We can pass on all water usage charges but we can’t pass on sewerage access charges or fixed access charges.

Who pays the water rates notice and how do I charge the tenants? The process for payment is that the owner pays the rates notice (or sends to the agent to pay on their behalf) and sends a copy of page two of the rates notice to the agent. The agent then invoices the tenants for the water consumption charges and must provide 30 days for the tenant to pay. Once the tenant pays the agent, the agent disburses these funds to the owner at the next owner disbursement just like the rent.

I hope now you feel like a water charging expert and we have cleared up any confusion. However, if you have any further queries please get in touch!

Thanks for reading,

Michael Elder-Mitchell

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