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By Siobhan Cheshire

Unity Water, which supplies water in the Moreton Bay area, has introduced a new pricing structure for water and sewerage usage charges, prompting property owners to ask the RTA if they could pass these new charges on to tenants.

Unity Water’s new pricing structure has replaced a single, fixed sewerage access charge with a fixed access charge combined with a variable sewerage usage charge.

The variable sewerage charge is calculated as 90% of water supplied to the property.

RTA General Manager Fergus Smith confirmed that tenants cannot be asked to pay the sewerage charges.

“The answer is no because the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act(2008) states that a tenant can only be billed for the full cost of a ‘service charge’ which is defined as electricity, water, gas or telephone,” Fergus Smith said.

“Sewerage is not a service charge and therefore must be paid by the owner.”

Owners can pass on the full cost of water consumption to tenants, provided a number of criteria have been met.

Anyone wanting further information can contact the RTA on 1300 366 311 or visit the RTA water charging page.

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