The benefits of taking steps to improve a property’s water efficiency are obvious when you consider a leaky tap that drips once a second will waste 12,000 litres a year!
When considering improving your property’s water efficiency there are number of laws that are helpful to understand.
In some states of Australia, landlords must fit water efficient features such as certified shower heads and taps before they can pass on water charges to tenants. A water efficiency certificate can be completed by a qualified plumber.
In all states of Australia, tenants in an individually-metred dwelling are required to pay for water consumption charges unless negotiated otherwise. Tenants living in premises with shared metres, for example in apartments, normally do not pay for their water, however there are exceptions.
In all cases, it is illegal for landlords to add any mark-up to water charges. Improvements to water appliances can be tax deductable.
Each state of Australia applies different conditions to how landlords pass on water charges, so either take the time to update your local knowledge, or consider leaving the charging of water and other aspects of your investment property in the capable hands of a property manager
A property manager will be fully acquainted with the rules and regulations for your state, know the best plumbers in the area, and as a result, save you the time and effort.
Tips for tenants to save money on water bills
- Wash your cars, bikes or boats on the lawn to water the grass at the same time
- Sweep paths and driveways instead of hosing them down
- Where possible, always use your dishwasher and clothes washer for full loads
- Always turn the tap off while brushing your teeth
- By watering your garden wisely, you can reduce water use. This can be achieved by:
- mulching, which assists gardens to retain water
- regular weeding, to stop weeds draining moisture
- watering early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid evaporation
- encourage plants to put down deep roots by giving them occasional deep soaking rather than frequently light watering.
- water the roots of your plants rather than the leaves
- water gradually so the water has time to soak in. Flooding one spot can cause run-off and make soil water resistant.