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Water and sewerage rates

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by nathan22, 5th Jan, 2017.

  1. nathan22

    nathan22 Member

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    Weipa, Far North Queensland
    Just want to compare a few water and sewerage rate notices as one of my Gold Coast properties seems high.

    I have a townhouse in a 27 T/H complex. Water and Sewerage $439 p/q I cant pass this on because the town houses are not separately metered, correct? Body corp here is $994 p/q

    My stand alone house is $291.75 p/q which is reasonable and can be passed on to the tenant.

    I want to start the new year off fresh by trimming costs wherever possible. ;)

    Nath
     
  2. MyPropertyPro

    MyPropertyPro SE Qld Property Management & Investor Services Business Member

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    Correct.

    Don't we all! :) What do you mean exactly? Selling the property due to the water rates being too high?
     
  3. nathan22

    nathan22 Member

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    No not quite at that stage yet. I am am just trying to trim back all excessive costs that I may have let slip last year. Such as passing on water charges to tenants, increasing rents and trying to discount management fees etc. Get the portfolio working to its best capacity.
    The Water charges seemed steep so I wanted to compare with other similar properties in the same area.
    Nath
     
  4. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    We have an apartment in a complex of 25 on the Gold Coast. Our block isn't separately metered either.

    Our latest water and sewerage rates notice was $306. So, yours is about 43% higher which seems high.

    But I should point out that the majority of our complex are OO. Only our apartment and maybe one other are rented.

    Out of the OO, at least half don't live there permanently - they use their apartments for weekends and/or holidays. They must all be wealthier than me :) :).

    So, our rates would be higher if all the OO lived their permanently. Our actual water consumption component was $72. So, if we double the consumption to cater for those who don't live there permanently, our water rates would be $306 + $72 = $378 (I haven't checked the tier of water charges). This is still significantly below yours (by $60pq).

    Our complex consumed 467kL of water from 3/9/16 to 25/11/16. What did yours consumed?
     
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  5. ramblin72

    ramblin72 Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 units in north Brisbane, one is usually $390-400 per quarter and the other is usually $300-320 per quarter (complex has a pool), however, this last quarter the 2nd unit jumped to $390.

    That complex gets one bill and divides it by the number of units. I am currently asking a lot of questions of the managers why the typical usage over the past 12 months was about 1200kl and has now suddenly jumped to 2400kl for the last quarter...almost like running an additional complex. Strange given the last minutes meeting stated people had complained about the standard of gardening dropping.
    The property manager said the units are individually metered (despite the shared bill) and one unit almost doubled their usage. No further elaboration on why so it's a lot of to and froing at this point until they realise I won't be giving up until they can explain what's going on. Based on the increase and number of units, Unity Water just made themselves an extra $7,000 for the quarter and no one can explain why.

    Anyway, off tangent there, but $390 for one and $300 is the answer for the question you actually asked. ;) Is that your first bill for the unit or is there a history of the same amount?
     
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  6. nathan22

    nathan22 Member

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    Thanks Kierank
    Our complex used 1338kl ..
    "Your Lot's share of the Water Consumption Charge is based on its
    Contribution Entitlement which is, 16 of 399" That is from 5/7/16 to 30/9/16



    Our complex consumed 467kL of water from 3/9/16 to 25/11/16. What did yours consumed?[/QUOTE]
     
  7. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    If you want to pass water usage on to the tenant the property must be certified water wise and the lease worded to pass on the charge.
    Marg
     
  8. nathan22

    nathan22 Member

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    Ramblin72 Its frustrating not knowing where this money is going like you have stated below. If the units in your case are separately metered couldnt you have the tenants pay for your lots water consumption? I only have one town house that is part of a complex but i can only imagine how difficult it would be having 10 or more if that was your strategy. Although there must be systems you'd have in place to cross check all these costs.
    Interested to hear what others are doing with several TH in their portfolio.

    That complex gets one bill and divides it by the number of units. I am currently asking a lot of questions of the managers why the typical usage over the past 12 months was about 1200kl and has now suddenly jumped to 2400kl for the last quarter...almost like running an additional complex. Strange given the last minutes meeting stated people had complained about the standard of gardening dropping.
    The property manager said the units are individually metered (despite the shared bill) and one unit almost doubled their usage. No further elaboration on why so it's a lot of to and froing at this point until they realise I won't be giving up until they can explain what's going on. Based on the increase and number of units, Unity Water just made themselves an extra $7,000 for the quarter and no one can explain why.


    Im actually travelling at the moment so I dont have all the bills in front of me but looking over my statements last year looked like this $310, $376, $364 to now $439. Unsure why there is such a dramatic incline but I may need to contact the BC and GCCC.

    Anyway, off tangent there, but $390 for one and $300 is the answer for the question you actually asked. ;) Is that your first bill for the unit or is there a history of the same amount?[/QUOTE]
     
  9. MyPropertyPro

    MyPropertyPro SE Qld Property Management & Investor Services Business Member

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    It doesn't technically have to be certified, you just have to prove that it is water efficient if you are asked to do so. This could be by way of receipts etc. however the most practical way to prove it is to provide a certificate. As already discussed, it must also be individually metered and stated in the lease that water is to be paid by the tenant.

    This fact sheet details it quite well.
     
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  10. nathan22

    nathan22 Member

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    Iv done that @Marg4000 for my other properties but wasnt sure if it could be done in a complex of townhouses as I didnt think they were separately metered (another condition). but @ramblin72 has just said his complex in Brisbane has their town houses separately metered so it could be possible. I will have to check with the BC.

    Thanks

    [QUOTE="Marg4000, post: 331674, member: 100"]If you want to pass water usage on to the tenant the property must be certified water wise and the lease worded to pass on the charge.
    Marg[/QUOTE]
     
  11. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    Even if I double our water consumption due to half the OO not living there, your complex is using 43% more than ours for roughly the same size complex.

    I would be asking questions of the Body Corporate .
     
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  12. nathan22

    nathan22 Member

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    I will chase it up tomorrow :mad:

    I would be asking questions of the Body Corporate .[/QUOTE]
     
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  13. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    If there is a lot of renters, anything can happen & QLD around Bris at least, seems very expensive for water , which I find very ironic...

    I once had tenants where all friends and family from elsewhere (up to 30 people a day I was told) would come over to shower and wash cars etc, you know, free water and all......

    Also tenants that do not pay for water never complain about dripping taps, ones that do pay means your always paying the plumber, it may be swings and roundabouts, although I prefer the limits, people only care when they pay.

    Other possibility is a hidden leak.

    I looked at a block near me a while back, it had a leak from first floor, all bricks were saturated and water running everywhere, 3 months later when I was going past, same thing....seems no one cares.
     
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  14. Matthew Savage

    Matthew Savage Active Member

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    Brisbane, QLD
    [/QUOTE]

    Does your bill come from the water utility - or does it come from the body corporate as a levy? If you are in Brisbane and the water is supplied by Queensland Urban Utilities - if your body corporate is receiving a bill (which would be several thousand $ per quarter) - that can be converted to individual billing to each lot owner based on entitlements by request to QUU by the body corporate.

    Any bill that says 'your share percentage' indicates without doubt that you are not separately metered. Any manager worth their salt can identify that.

    Does your complex have a pool? Does it have bulk hot water? Townhouse complexes always have higher water consumption on average due to having more footpath and more gardens. Do you have a resident caretaker who maintains the property? If so, they probably water the gardens where a non-caretaker gardener probably would just mow them.

    There are lots of factors that need to be considered when you are looking at the cost of water or any other service.

    Matt