Rental Property – SEWERAGE CHARGE CHANGES – what can you on charge to your tenants?

SEWERAGE CHARGE CHANGES for your Rental Property  – What  can you on charge to your tenants?

Unity Water, which supplies water in the Moreton Bay area, has introduced a new pricing structure for water and sewerage usage charges, prompting property owners/investors to ask the RTA if they could pass these new charges on to tenants in their rental property.

Unity Water’s new pricing structure has replaced a single, fixed sewerage access charge with a fixed access charge combined with a variable sewerage usage charge. The variable sewerage charge is calculated as 90% of water supplied to the property. RTA General Manager Fergus Smith confirmed that tenants cannot be asked to pay the sewerage charges. “The answer is no because the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act (2008) states that a tenant can only be billed for the full cost of a ‘service charge’ which is defined as electricity, water, gas or telephone,” Fergus Smith said. “Sewerage is not a service charge and therefore must be paid by the owner.” Owners can pass on the full cost of water consumption to tenants, provided a number of criteria have been met.

If you own a rental property in Brisbane and need further information or guidance on what you can and cannot on-charge to your tenants, please feel free to give Paula at Paramount Private Property Management a call on 0448198102. Paula can talk you through all allowable on-charges and provide advice on how to handle tricky issues like when you have solar panels and want to keep the rebate generated from your rental property.