Investors in Queensland will be rewarded for installing water-saving devices and wastewater recycling products in their rental properties, following legislative changes announced by premier Anna Bligh on 15 October.
The most significant changes include a ban on local councils taxing water in residential tanks, and eligibility for landlords who have installed water-saving devices in rental properties to have individual meters installed on their property.
“These new measures are about spreading the load and making sure people who are doing the right thing are treated fairly,” Bligh said.
“This is about being smart and fair with our water-saving measures.”
Bligh explained that the Bill will ensure that any rainwater “collected from a roof for a rainwater tank will belong entirely to the homeowner, and no tax or charge can be levied”.
Deputy premier and minister for infrastructure and planning, Paul Lucas, said the legislation meant landlords who had fitted water-saving devices to rental properties could charge tenants in individually metered properties for water consumption.
“This is another measure designed to spread the load and encourage homeowners and renters alike to watch their water usage,” Lucas said.
“Landlords will continue to be responsible for paying fixed costs of supply of water to premises. But if they’ve done the right thing and installed water-saving devices like reduced-flow shower heads and dual flush toilets, they’ll be able to charge tenants for their water use.”
Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) managing director, Dan Molloy, said the legislative changes were a very positive move.
“The REIQ is pleased to see the State Government has recognised that the responsibility to conserve water needs to be shared more equitably between the owner and tenant, and we support a user pays system,” Molloy said.
“Water is an absolutely critical issue … and the REIQ will continue to recommend to landlords that water-saving devices be installed in rental properties to keep water charges, and water wastage, to a minimum.”
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