An interesting development in Qld – according to the Courier Mail:
LANDLORDS will be able to charge tenants for their water use under legislation to be introduced to Queensland parliament this week, Premier Anna Bligh says.
Cabinet today approved a number of legislative changes dealing with water that will be introduced to parliament this week, and be passed by the end of the year.
Among the changes are new measures aimed at making renters more accountable for their water use, and the banning of any council charges being applied to water from residential rainwater tanks.
The laws will allow landlords who have installed water saving devices – such as dual flush toilets and low-flow shower heads – in their rental properties to have individual meters installed to monitor their tenants’ water use.
This will hopefully make price signals for water more transparent for tenants – folding water charges into a tenant’s rent makes price signals for water very opaque, which could be problematic when water is so scarce in Brisbane. I have always rented and I fully support direct charging of tenants for their water use and individual water metering. It’s not immediately clear to me how you put the incentives in to encourage landlords to put water-saving devices into units, but perhaps this is what is happening in the last para I quoted from the story.