Water charging

Lessor/agents and managers are allowed to pass on the full cost of water consumption, provided:

  • the rental property is individually metered (or water is delivered by vehicle), and
  • the rental property is water efficient, and
  • the tenancy agreement states the tenant must pay for water consumption

Items a tenant can be charged

A breakdown of water charges is shown below.

Charge as shown on water bill Can tenant be charged?
State Bulk Water Charge Yes, tenant can be charged*
Note: the bulk water rebate is no longer available in Queensland
Water Usage Charges Yes, tenant can be charged*
Sewerage Usage Charge (may appear on the bill as fixed or variable) No, tenant cannot be charged
Sewerage is not a service charge as defined by the Act and cannot be passed onto the tenant
Fixed Access Charges
(including Water Access Charge and
Sewerage Access Charge)
No, tenant cannot be charged                                         
The lessor must pay all fixed charges for water supply
*if the above criteria are met

Water meter reading field on Entry condition report

The water meter reading should be recorded on the Entry condition report at the start of a tenancy.

Fast facts

  • Rental properties are considered water efficient if certain water fixtures meet standards listed in the Water efficient property page.
  • At the start of the tenancy agreement, the lessor/agent and tenant should negotiate arrangements for water charging and the frequency of charges.
  • Water billing periods are unlikely to align with tenancy agreements. It's important that the water meter reading is noted on the Entry condition report (Form 1a) when starting a tenancy, and on the Exit condition report (Form 14a) at the end of the tenancy.
  • The presence of water efficient fittings should be noted on the Entry condition report .
  • Taking a photo of the water meter at the start and end of a tenancy can help support what you have noted on the condition report forms.
  • Lessors will receive the water bill and should provide their tenants with a copy of water bills or evidence of water consumption to verify the amount to be charged. Tenants will not be billed directly by water supply authorities.
  • Tenants must be given 1 month to pay any water bill after receiving the notice from the lessor/agent.


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