Water, Water Everywhere!
September 4, 2019
One of the more helpful changes in recent years to Tenancy Regulations in South Australia has been the ability to now have tenants reimburse owners for water usage and supply charges. This is in keeping with the principle of ‘user pays’. It does not extend however to sewer charges. Such a condition must be written into tenancy agreements (leases) and it has been our agency practice since the change was made to recommend to our clients that these charges be passed on to tenants. The net result is effectively a rent increase to that amount.
Unfortunately we do not have the same situation in our State as they do in Victoria where the resident has the water account put into their name just like electricity, gas and telephone. In SA, the account stays in the owner’s name and we then on-charge the tenant. We have approached SA Water, but they have informed us that such a change will never be brought into SA!

The Tenancy Tribunal has however ruled that tenants must be charged according to SA Water accounts and then only for three months in arrears. Once this time limit is reached, there is no further opportunity to charge for the water.

Many of our Owners have given us instructions to pay the SA Water accounts directly. In these cases, the Invoices are sent directly to our office. This enable us to pay them promptly as well as create the invoices for our tenants. Where we do not have these instructions, Owners are required to send us the Invoices so we can process them.

If you are one of our Owners who still have the account sent directly to you, you may wish to consider having them sent to us for payment and processing. Just give our office a call and we will quickly arrange this for you.