Water is a precious and expensive commodity, therefore it is important to reduce water usage where possible. Ensuring your investment property is water efficient is quite a simple process.
The first step is to determine whether your property is water efficient. Items to check include:
- internal cold water taps, single mixer taps (excluding bath taps and taps for appliances) and shower heads should have a maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minute
- toilets hould have a dual flush function not exceeding 6.5 litres on full flush and 3.5 litres on half flush.
Taps are only required to comply with current water suage standards if they are installed over a hand basin, kitchen sink or laundry trough (including single mixer taps). Other taps on your property are not required to be water efficient – this includes bath tub taps, outside taps for the garden, or taps that supply washing machines or dishwashers.
If your property is compliant with current water usage standards you can obtain a water wise certificate or a water compliance certificate for around $250. The cost of obtaining the certificate will pay for itself in around 12 months as you will be able to pass on reasonable water usage charges to your tenant.
Demonstrating that your property is water efficient can be done in a number of ways. Providing copies of plumbing reports, receipts, packaging, warranties or instruction manuals for taps and shower heads should be enough to show that water fixtures in the property comply with current water usage standards.
Water fixtures manufactured during or after 2005 will have a WELS rating assigned to them. The WELS rating scheme provides a measure of water efficiency and it rates taps, shower heads and toilets in a number of stars system. A WELS rating of three stars or more indicates the water fixture is considered to be water efficient. You can learn more about the WELS water usage rating system by visiting the WELS website and browsing through their range of recommended products.
To pass on water usage charges to your tenant, you must include the fact you are charging tenants for water usage in the lease document prior to the tenant signing the lease. Property managers should take water meter readings and note these readings on both the entry and exit condition reports.
Sunshine Coast Property Management is focused on increasing returns for our investors. We can help ensure your property is water efficient.