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Water bill payments in Brisbane

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by hozi, 4th Sep, 2015.

  1. hozi

    hozi Member

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    Hi all

    hoping someone can throw light on this
    Own a property in Brisbane. Have property manager who manages the property.
    I was paying the water bills not realising the tenant is liable for paying the bills. (Newbie error as this was never discussed with the PM and the PM never mentioned it either) Only queried it when I got a really large bill for the water usage. Spoke to the PM who said to forward the bills to the which I did

    Tenant refusing to pay earlier bills even though within the 6 month period
    Must give some credit to PM for chasing up the current bills and some amount has been paid. Water usage is really excessive.

    PM now says

    "If we don’t receive the bills in a timely manner, the tenants are not liable for payment.
    Further, the property is supposed to have a Water Efficient Certificate in order to collect the water on the owner’s behalf. I doubt that this is the case with your property so any funds received from the tenants is a bonus.


    To give you an example, I am renting a large house at the moment and even though it is a modern house, it is not water efficient so I am not paying water and have not received a water bill since I moved in over 2 years ago. If they tried to send me one now, I would be quite within my rights to refuse to pay.

    would you like us to get a water certificate and make it water compliant.
    I think the plumber charges about $150 to do so.."



    Any comments/feedback really appreciated

    .
     
  2. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely right that you can't charge for usage unless certified as water efficient.
     
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  3. Coota9

    Coota9 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    My thoughts on this as I have 2 properties in Brisbane is that your current PM has let you down badly,remember you are paying them to manage your investment.
    This is something they should have discussed with you when they started managing your property,that said ensure you get a plumber to do a water certificate asap
     
  4. Tim86

    Tim86 Well-Known Member

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    Plus you can only charge usage not the access charge to tenants im pretty sure.

    The water efficiency stuff is a pain though. You have to run around in the shower to get wet and it takes 4 years to fill up the pot in the kitchen.

    From the sounds of it without the water efficiency done on the property you are doing the wrong thing by trying to charge the tenants water usage.

    I would tell them you would be willing to waive the previous bills, but because theyve been so high you would need to make the house more water efficient. Then I would start sending usage bills to them.
     
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  5. Coota9

    Coota9 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    More info on Water Bill payments @hozi
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    Note also the other requirement in the fact sheet @Coota9 has provided: the lease must provide that the tenant has to pay for water usage.
     
  7. Tranquilo

    Tranquilo Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I just did this in the Logan area. Cost $165 to make the property water compliant. Now the PM will forward the water usage to the tenant.
     
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  8. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    What has already been posted by Perp and Coota is correct. Your PM should have asked this at the start of the management of this property.

    I would get a plumber into the property ASAP to make it water wise. I don't agree with Tim that it is a pain. We have water efficient shower heads and they are fine. You would never know they are water efficient.

    And Tim is right insofar as you can only charge the actual usage. Our accounts generally cost us nearly $200 for the infrastructure portion and the tenant pays about $30 to $140 depending on the actual water used.

    Just saw Perps post and that is correct too. You have to write it into the next lease but do call the RTA because high usage without specific mention in the lease could be covered by an "excess usage" clause in every lease. I'm thinking that before we had the ability to pass on all water use, we used to write into the leases that "excess" (over and above a chosen amount of litres used) would be charged to the tenant. I cannot recall if that was written in already, or we added it. One call to the RTA will tell you this (or check their site).
     
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  9. giswal22

    giswal22 Well-Known Member

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    I had the same problem with a property in moorooka, I'm pretty sure if it has seperate meters and certified water efficient then it's a pass. Now my tenants pay ALL usage
     
  10. Hanison

    Hanison Well-Known Member

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    Hang on. All usage?

    My understanding was only excess usage can be passed on.

    Getting a water efficiency certificate done for a property in Brisbane due to recently changing PM's.

    Tenant has always paid for excess usage but apparently without certificate it wasn't exactly 100% legit.

    New PM has picked up on it first day. Good on them.
     
  11. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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  12. jaybean

    jaybean Well-Known Member

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    I assume even if it's made water compliant, you can't forward the charges on until after the lease expires right? I mean it needs to be either added in at the start, or negotiated after? Or am I legally allowed to pass on the cost immediately after it's made water compliant?
     
  13. Ace in the Hole

    Ace in the Hole Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Lessons learned from experience:
    1. At the start of a new lease, make sure your property is water efficient.
    2. Have it written in the lease that tenants are responsible to pay for all water usage.
    3. Have water bills posted directly to the PM so they can pay the bill for you then chase up usage charges from tenants.
    4. When a tenant vacates, PM does a meter reading and charges water usage up to the vacate date and has paid any bills in arrears.
    Follow these and you should not have to waste any time with minor issues like this, all passive as it should be, that's what a PM is for.
     
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  14. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    The link seems to say it must be negotiated at the start of the lease. I think you will need to wait until the new lease starts to start charging water. You could call to check, but that is my reading of the link. So, get your plumber in with plenty of time to rectify anything required before the new lease starts and check and double check that the agent adds it into the new lease. I'd be getting this confirmed in writing from the agent so if she "forgets" again, you may have some comeback.
     
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  15. hozi

    hozi Member

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    Thank you all so much. Love the vast knowledge that this forum and Somersoft provides on property as well as other life experiences. .
    .

    All points noted and onto the PM to get the property water certified.
     
  16. Coota9

    Coota9 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Agreed @hozi :)

    The posts in this thread and the eventually outcome is what this forum is all about...the collective far out ways any individuals knowledge..:D:D:D:D most of the time