In property management (and everywhere else), actions speak louder than words. This piece of advice is following a tribunal hearing my office had last week. The property had been privately managed and the landlord inserted a written clause in the lease stating " tenant pays for water" Apart from the clause not being written in correct legislation, there was no precedence for ever having charged the tenant water. We took over the management in the last few months of the tenancy and conducted an outgoing inspection where we billed the tenant for the last quarter of water use based on a meter reading in the outgoing inspection report - this is just a routine procedure in property management. The tenant refused to pay. At the tribunal hearing, the tenant was able to successfully argue that she had never been charged for water usage and although she signed a lease stating that she would pay water usage, the fact that the landlord had never invoiced her was enough precedence that she did not have to pay. The landlord told us and the tribunal member that she did charge the tenant at the beginning but was not able to produce any evidence of invoices. The only invoices were our unpaid ones at the end of the tenancy when we took over. Lesson here: Action speak louder than clauses in leases. If the tenant should be paying for water, ensure that they are charged water regularly and set a paper trial for chasing it up if it is in arrears.