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Guest onourway

Landlord maintenance and water fees query pool maintenance advice needed

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Guest onourway

Hi there,


We've found a private rental but are renting directly from the landlords and not via agents. We're going over to discuss the weekly rent (they originally told us $450 but have since seen another agent who's told them it's worth $500 so we're hopefully meeting halfway) and they've now mentioned that we'll also be discussing water fees (they have a pool and mentioned re-filling it) and possibly a handyman maintenance fee. I've been on the government rental advice pages and know that the landlords are liable for all sewage costs but what's the 'norm' for water fees from landlords? I thought it was simply that tenants are liable for all usage. Also is it reasonable for tenants to have to pay for the handyman maintenance fees - again, I thought it was the landlords responsibility to maintain the property. The weekly rent is already at the top end of our budget and we've never had a pool before so don't want to sign up to high unexpected running costs. It's a salt chlorinated pool - they said we could pay a fee for maintenance or maintain ourselves but we haven't yet got a clue what's involved - i.e. will we need to pay for expensive chemicals to clean it?!


Any advice greatly appreciated.


Many thanks :confused:

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Guest Mrs Bon Jovi

For our water costs we pay supply and all usage charges. It's about $73 a quarter I think for supply, I know it had gone up on our

last bill.

It is the landlord's responsibility to sort any maintenance issues there may be with the property, if things aren't working etc, but you do have to maintain the property to the standard it was in when you took on the lease ie cutting

lawns, weeding, cleaning windows, or looking after the pool etc unless it is specified otherwise in the

lease. I know some houses include a gardener etc in the rent but if it doesn't then it would be down to you.

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Hi there,

That's quite a high rent...is it a new build or in one of the better Hackam roads?

I have a house in Christies that has a pool and we have had a house with a pool for over 23 years. It's normal for you to be liable for all the water costs but not for any maintenance costs.

Does tha house have any rainwater storage tanks and a pool cover? On a hot day you can lose thousands of litres from evaporation and water being charged on a sliding scale you can soon end up with a large account if it's costing you $2.75 per 1000 litres.

Is the pool compliant? Does it have fencing and self closing gates?


Salt water chlorination is very popular and apart from the occasional bag of salt the chemical costs are minimal. However, for the pool to produce chlorinated water the pool pump has to run and electricity is horrifically expensive. Depending upon the size of the pool it might have to run for anywhere between 6 and 12 hours per day. Costs will be determined by the size of the pump and type of chlorinator. Are there solar panel at the house?

What type of pool cleaner is there? Is it a paved pool area or a garden that can deposit large quantities of debris into the pool...the last storm a few days a go caused havoc and ours is a paved area!

Companies like Clarke rubber offer a pool service (and there are people on this site who also do it) but i would check on their service price.


My OH's comments for swimming pools (especially now that our kids are older) " it's a bottomless money pit, you may as well stand next to it and throw Dollars into it"!!!

He is a Yorkshireman though!


Hope that this helps.



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Tell them that your going to walk away I think they out to bleed you dry just taking advantage by the sounds of it.A pool can cost quite a bit if you have no knowlage how to work it. It will cost about $60- $80 every 2 weeks more in summer for a pool sevice to look after it. Its down to them to maintain the place only if you damage something do you need to pay for the repair not fair wear and tear. Agents will tell you anything to get there foot in the door. If I was you I would be very carefull.

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I don't think that the OP has mentioned the suburb?


That can definitely be a high rate and you need to be careful that you don't pay more than it is worth. You see so many broken leases on this site alone and I remember someone a while ago who decided to break their lease and move somewhere else. When you break your lease you have to keep paying the rent until it is re-let at the same amount (unless you can prove it is not worth that much) and this family had to keep paying the rent until it was leased. I remember looking at the area and thinking there were a lot of other similar quality properties at least $50-$80 less and so you do need to keep that in mind.


But there are some suburbs where that is the going rate. If you are renting a modern house in Unley, Hyde Park, Norwood, Malvern and it is a large house with a pool and they do the gardening then that price sounds like a "bargain". I just mention those suburbs as an example there are other suburbs that also charge more in rent. I know someone who rents a property at Malvern for $460 per week it is 4 bedroom but is not ultra modern, nor have ducted airconditioning, nor pool, nor garden maintenance but it is close to transport, close to Unley High and Unley Primary and local supermarkets etc and they are happy because of the area and the house is ok.

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Guest Guest5035
I don't think that the OP has mentioned the suburb?



no but its in the ops location tab.



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Hah...yes but wait.....their avatar has Sydney Harbour......$500 sounds good to me.....with a view like that :wink:

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Guest onourway

Thanks all - to settle the debate.... wait for it.... we're looking at Flagstaff Hill.... but away from the substation and on the border of the Craigburn Estate and backing onto Sturt Gorge. The rental amount checks out for that area & the property... it's a 4-bed plus rhumpus, pool and solar electricity. Just concerned at the possibility of 'additional fees' they may be about to hit us with - hopefully not - I just want to know our rights as tenants because we've only got as far as viewing other rentals - no applications or agreements yet.


I think the jist of it is that they should be paying for their own maintenance guy and using him only when repairs are needed and we should be paying for water connection and usage.


Thanks also for the pool feedback - it's a fully paved area, fenced with cover so hopefully not too bad a setup. Tamara - I guess by covering it we reduce the evaporation? We're happy maintaining ourselves so good to know chemicals/salt not too expensive. I think I spotted a rainwater tank - but think it was just tapped for watering the garden - I'll ask when we see them tomorrow. We're keen to have the pool because of the little one and we haven't been able to find any other rentals with pools (in the areas we wanted) within budget - even this is stretching budget but seemed worth it.


Good point re breaking the lease, Kris, I hadn't thought about that implication with renting privately - they may well take longer to re-let than via an agency so worth us bearing in mind - and making sure we (try to) time buying for the end of a lease term!!!

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