Water Efficiency For Rental Properties

Budget conscious tenants will be attracted to live in a water efficient property.

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!

By improving the overall water efficiency of a property, a landlord can create an additional selling point for the property, and increase the attractiveness of their property on the rental market.

Landlords and water

Water efficiency is not as easy as changing a washer, and 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.

In all states of Australia, tenants in an individually-metred dwelling are required to pay for all 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. In some states, water efficiency improvements can even attract a government subsidy or assistance. So there are definite incentives for landlords to look seriously at updating.

Saving time and effort with a property manager

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, who will be fully acquainted with the rules and regulations for your state, and save you the time and effort.

So what are the simplest and most cost efficient way to improve a property’s water efficiency?

  • Consider water-efficient showerheads if your existing showerheads need replacing. By using around one-third of the water, these showerheads can save more than $200 a year on energy and water bills.
  • Fitting aerators to your taps – inside and out – can limit water flow, and therefore reduce water use.
  • 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.
  • When it comes time to replace a toilet, opt for a certified water efficient dual flush model which can save 51 litres per person daily.

Increasing the water efficiency of a property helps tenants save money every day, and can give your property a point of difference.