Lessors are allowed to pass on the full water consumption charges (including bulk water charges) to tenants provided all the minimum criteria have been met.
Lessors are able to pass on the full water consumption charges to tenants if:
the rental premises are individually metered (or water is delivered by vehicle), and
the rental premises are water efficient, and
the tenancy agreement states the tenant must pay for water consumption.
How can the lessor/agent prove the premises are water efficient?
At the start of the tenancy agreement, the lessor/agent and tenant should negotiate arrangements for water charging and frequency of charges. The presence of water efficient devices should be noted on the Entry condition report (Form 1a).
Lessors/agents should be able to demonstrate the presence of water efficient devices where it may be unclear, such as by providing copies of:
warranties or instruction manuals for taps and showerheads, etc.
For any water fixtures produced from 2005 onwards, the easiest way to check if they meet the required efficiency standard is to look for products with a WELS rating of three stars or higher. WELS is Australia’s water efficiency labelling scheme which rates fixtures including taps, shower heads and toilets according to water efficiency – the more stars the better. To find out more about the scheme or search the registered product database, visit
Flow Chart – Who pays for water in a rental premises?