You can be charged for water if the premises are individually metered, or if water is delivered to the premises, and your agreement states that you must pay for water.
However, you can only be required to pay the full cost of water consumption if the premises meet water efficient standards as set out in the Act.
When you move in, it’s a good idea to record the water meter reading on your Entry Condition Report. The Entry Condition Report may state whether the premises meets water effi ciency standards.
The lessor can only ask you to pay the full cost of water consumption if the premises are considered ‘water efficient’. This means that toilets must be dual flush, and shower heads and all internal cold water taps must have a flow rate no greater than 9 litres per minute.
If you are unsure whether the premises are water effi cient, you can request evidence from the lessor. If the premises do not meet water efficiency standards, the lessor must pay for a reasonable supply of water.
Reasonable water use will depend on a number of factors relating to your tenancy and water use in your area. If you and the lessor have a dispute about water costs, you can apply to the RTA free Dispute Resolution Service for help to resolve the dispute.
If the RTA cannot help you to reach an agreement, you can apply to the Tribunal for a decision. In deciding a dispute over water costs, the Tribunal may consider information regarding the size of the property, water use and costs in the area, any terms in the tenancy agreement about water or affecting water usage, the presence of water saving devices, the number of people living in the premises, and any other relevant issues.
Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA)
The RTA is the government authority that oversees renting laws in Queensland. The RTA provides information and services for tenants, lessors, agents, providers and residents. RTA forms are available from Australia Post Offi ces, online at www.rta.qld.gov.au or Ph: 1300 366 311