Being an astute property investor is no simple task. There’s a number of different factors to take into consideration in particular the it’s cashflow status. Not only is the rental income important to your balance sheets but so too are the expenses.
Owning an investment property has it’s fair share of expenses. Not only do you have to continue to make mortgage repayments, there a host of other expenses too. Think council rates, property management fees, maintenance costs, building insurance, landlord insurance, strata fees. As a property investor keeping your expenses down means you can keep more of that rental income and maximise your property’s yield.
This is where a water efficiency certificate can help you to reduce your properties expenses. If you were not already aware you don’t have to pay the water usage costs of your tenants, you can pass them onto your tenants. In order to do so your property must have a valid water efficiency certificate. The meager cost to obtain the certificate could easily be recouped by the reduced cost in your next water bill. Here’s what you need to know about this certificate and how to get it.
What is a water efficiency certificate QLD?
This is a certificate issued by The Master Plumbers Association of Queensland. It is issued if your property is compliant with the set criteria and standards for water efficiency. A property owner may need to have these documents ready before applying:
• plumbing reports such as file notes of work done
• receipts for any items purchased
• packaging, warranties or instruction manuals for taps and showerheads
How to get a water efficiency certificate?
To obtain the certificate, as the landlord you must contact a licensed plumber to help you. Your real estate agent/ rental manager can also coordinate with the plumber on your behalf.
There are a few criteria for a rental property to be issued a water efficiency certificate.
• The rental premises have individual water meters
• The charges should not exceed the amount billed by the water supplier
• The rental property must meet the water efficiency standards which are the following:
o Internal cold water taps and single water taps should have a maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minute. This does not include the taps in the bathtub or appliances.
o Showerheads with a maximum flow rate of 9 litres per minute
o No leaking taps at the start of the tenancy
o Dual flush toilets with a maximum of 6.5 litres on full flush and 3.5 litres on half flush. It should also have a maximum of 4 litres based on the average of 1 full flush and 4 half flushes.
If your taps don’t meet the required flow rates, your plumber can install cost effective aerators or regulators instead of replacing the entire tap.
Why property investors need a water efficiency certificate
Without a water efficiency certificate, property investors can’t legitimately charge the tenants of their water consumption. Meaning as the property owner you’ll have an extra operating expense
Some landlords and tenants may have an agreement about their water billing. But the landlord could be liable to return the money to their tenants if the certificate is rejected.
How a water efficiency certificate can save you money
Having this certificate will allow you to charge your tenants for their water consumption. But, this does not mean that the tenants are directly billed by the water supply authorities. You will still get the water bill and pay for the full amount. You can then provide copies of the water bill to your tenants and have them settle the payment with you. If your using a professional rental manager they can take care of this on your behalf.
In ensuring that your property is compliant you’re certain that you have saved money and avoided costly issues in the future. You can expect a better return on investment that will allow you to grow your property investment portfolio.