Who’s Responsible to Pay for the Water Bill?
As a tenant, is it your responsibility to pay for water or landlord’s? The reality is, it depends on the property that you’re renting. Whilst receiving a water invoice is not the most exciting bill, it is one that more and more tenants are starting to see.
How would you know if you have to pay for water? If it is your responsibility, it will state so in your lease agreement. The landlord must provide a copy of the water bill and send it to the tenant to pay. It is also becoming more common to see in your lease agreement an additional weekly charge for water added on top of rent.
The good news is, that tenants only have to pay for water consumption only what water they use and not for the service itself. It is important for tenants to know their rights but:
- A tenant has four weeks to pay the invoice from the invoice date and
- If a water leak was detected and reported in writing, the tenant may ask for a reduction.
- The tenant can’t be charged more than the billable amount.
- The property owner must pay fixed charges
Residential Tenancies Authority states that an owner only can charge tenants full water consumption if:
- The property is individually metered (or water is delivered by vehicle), and
- The property is water efficient, and
- The tenancy agreement states the tenant must pay for water consumption
If you have any questions about water charging, it is best to ask your property manager for clarification before you sign the contract on a property.