TenantsTips / Australia / Who is responsible for reading the water meter?

Who is responsible for reading the water meter?

The water meter must be read at the beginning of the tenancy and written on the tenancy agreement or the Property Condition Report.

Usually, the Water Corporation should do this reading, then the new tenant will be charged at a lower rate per kilolitre of water consumption, but, if the Water Corporation does not do the meter reading, then the tenant may be charged at a higher rate.

There is a special fee for request the Water Corporation to do a meter reading.

The tenant will need to ask the landlord or agent who is going to pay this charge.

If it is going to be the tenants responsibility, then it should be written into the tenancy agreement otherwise if it is not written into the tenancy agreement then the tenant may not be required to pay this bill

The landlord or agent or the tenant can do the reading, if a reading has not been carried out by the Water Corporation

The tenant must check that any reading done by the owner or agent is accurate. If you as the tenant do a reading yourself then you need make a note of the reading on your tenancy agreement or property condition report and have a witnesssign to support you.

Usually, the Water Corporation prefers to do the meter readings and as explained above it may save the tenants money.

If the property has a shared water meter where one water meter shared between two or more properties then the water charges are likely to be apportioned by the landlord or agent. This means that, depending on what agreement the tenant has the landlord will split the charge and send a bill to all tenants.

This can sometimes lead to disagreements about water usage. The tenant should either suggest to the landlord or agent that they get a separate meter installed or negotiate how the charges will be apportioned and make sure this is written into the tenancy agreement.

At the beginning of the tenancy in a tenancy agreement it must be written how water costs will be shared between the tenant and the landlord. Usually, this is written into the tenancy agreement as a percentage figure.

It is fair for the tenant to ask the landlord to contribute something to water costs if the tenant is being asked to water a garden.

utility water bill

If the tenant will help the landlord by maintaining their asset then sharing the costs for water usage is reasonable.

The amount of money to pay will depend on the individual circumstances of the tenancy and how much water is likely to be consumed.

The tenant must always take a meter reading when they first move into property and at the end of the tenancy when they move out, or you might end up paying too much.


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