How To Make Your Rental Property Water Compliant

If you are a property owner looking at entering the rental market for the first time there are a number of things you must take into account. From finding the right real estate agent and credit checking potential tenants, to making sure your property is compliant to your state’s residential tenancies regulation.

Here in Queensland our Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Regulation 2009 outlines the landlords responsibility in ensuring that:

  • the property’s smoke alarms are tested every 12 months;
  • any pool fences are compliant to the pool safety legislation;
  • and the property must be deemed as water compliant and efficient.

If your property is not deemed as water complaint and efficient, as a landlord you will not be permitted to pass on water usage charges to your tenant.

So how do you determine if your property is water compliant?

Firstly the rental premise must be individually metered, or water is delivered by vehicle, such as those with water tanks on rural properties. Secondly the charges must not exceed the amount billed for water usage by the water supplier, and finally the rental premise must meet the required ‘water efficiency’ standards.

Ensuring your property is ‘water efficient’ is as simple as ensuring your taps, showerheads, and toilets meet the recommended minimum standards.

Water Efficient DevicesMinimum StandardNotes
Internal cold water taps installed over a hand basin, kitchen sink or laundry troughA maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minuteDoes not apply to bathtub taps, laundry taps, outside taps for the garden, or taps which supply washing machines and dishwashers
ShowerheadsA maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minute
ToiletsA dual flush function not exceeding 6.5 litres on full flush and 3.5 litres on half flush and a maximum average flush volume of 4 litres (based on the average of 1 full flush and 4 half flushes)

Most modern houses or units will automatically be water efficient, however if your property is older you do not necessarily need to change the showerheads and tap fittings. Most non-efficient taps and showerheads can be compliant by simply installing aerators or regulators. Also make sure that you fix any leaking taps as soon you can!

How do you prove water efficiency? We have Masters plumbers forms we can provide for owners and/or real estate agents on request. We also recommend keeping any receipts for plumbing services and any warranties or instruction manuals for taps and showerheads.

If you’re still unsure whether your property is deemed water compliant and efficient give us a call and we’ll happy come take a look at your property.