From 1 October 2014, a different minimum water efficiency standard will apply to replacement water appliances in rental properties and caravan parks.
The changes under the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Prescribed Rating for Replacement Water Appliances) Regulations 2014:
- require that when a water appliance, fixture or fitting supplied by the landlord or caravan owner needs to be replaced, the replacement must have a minimum efficiency rating of three stars under the national, compulsory Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme (WELS Scheme)
- apply to tenants and caravan park residents who replace water appliances as part of an urgent repair
- make special provision for premises where the age, nature and structure of the plumbing means that a three-star appliance cannot work. In these limited cases, a one or two-star appliance is permitted.
If a landlord or caravan owner installs a replacement water appliance, fitting or fixture that does not meet the required minimum efficiency rating (except for the limited exception detailed above), the tenant or resident can issue a breach of duty notice. For more information, view When a renter or rental provider (landlord) breaks the law.
The amendment regulations were made by the Governor in Council on 26 August 2014.
Previously, landlords and caravan owners were required to install replacement water appliances with an 'A rating'. The national, compulsory WELS Scheme replaced this voluntary rating system.
The WELS Scheme introduced a new zero to six water rating label that indicates the efficiency of water-using products such as washing machines, dishwashers and showers. The more stars on the label, the more water efficient the product.