Help! How to pass on waterbill

My husband and I recently purchased and rented out our first investment property. The tenants have been living there for a month.

Earlier this week, we got a water bill for the property. It's in our name so obviously we have to pay it, but is this something we can pass on to the tenants? The usage is quoted from 27/7/09 - 27/10/09. The service charges are from 19/9/09 - 31/12/09 and is what costs the most. Waterways and drainage is from 1/10/09 - 31/12/09.

There are five units on the property, and previously they were all sharing one water meter and splitting it five ways. The landlords have all gotten together and have agreed to put and end to this and have each unit have its own water meter. Obviously, when this is done, we will be asking the tenants to put the water bill in their own name.

In the meantime, what am I supposed to do with this water bill? I don't want to make it seem like I'm being stingy and can't pay for a water bill, especially since they've only started living there a month, but at the same time I don't want my tenants to think they're getting water for free.

Barry Plant rented it out for us, and not sure what they told them about the water situation, although Barry Plant themselves do know about the current situation and our plans to change it.

Any advice is appreciated.

Sorry if I sound like a complete moron. I'm sure the answer would be completely obvious to some people, but I don't know the right thing to do here.
 
Not sure about the bill that has already been charged, but to organise splitting of the costs call your local water company that gave you the bill and have them guide you on how to arrange to split the bill.

When I checked with south east water they mentioned they only need to know the date the tenant will be moving in and the tenants personal details to arrange billing.

From memory Melbourne metro you can arrange for tenants to pay water usuage and sewerage costs as long as the property has its own water meter. For regional I think it is water usuage only. Connection and other duties I believe are still responsibility of landlord.

Also not sure about your particular PM, but I believe some PM's do offer to organise payment of rates, Body corporate fees, Insurance etc.. for managed properties, probably will cost more $$, best to check with your PM.
 
I dont think you can get the tenant to pay any of the water bill until there is a seperate meter installed. When it is installed, they can only be charged the usage part, (which is pretty small).
Most units just factor the water bill into the rent, like the body corporate and rates etc, as the cost to provide seperate meters wouldnt be paid back by the savings made by the tenant paying the usage for quite a long time.
 
i also don't believe you can have the water put into the tenants name. it is not like electricity. you can only charge the tenant usage if it is written in the lease that they pay such, and i believe also that you can only charge them usage if they have an independent meter - splitting 5 ways is not satisfactory.

i would have thought that to be strata'd, the units would have had to have separate meters anyhow - or are they fairly old?
 
I dont think you can get the tenant to pay any of the water bill until there is a seperate meter installed. When it is installed, they can only be charged the usage part, (which is pretty small).
Most units just factor the water bill into the rent, like the body corporate and rates etc, as the cost to provide seperate meters wouldnt be paid back by the savings made by the tenant paying the usage for quite a long time.

That is also my understanding. until your property has a separate water meter you won't be able to pass any portion of the water bill to the tenants.
 
From memory Melbourne metro you can arrange for tenants to pay water usuage and sewerage costs as long as the property has its own water meter. For regional I think it is water usuage only. Connection and other duties I believe are still responsibility of landlord.

Residential tenants are only liable to pay for water usage not sewerage, parks or other charges
 
As above, until the properties are sep metered you are not permitted to seek reimbursement from the tenant for water usage. Until that time, unfortunately you will have to pay the full amount.

Residential Tenancies Act 1997 - SECT 52

Tenant's liability for various utility charges

52. Tenant's liability for various utility charges

A tenant is liable for-

(a) all charges in respect of the supply or use of electricity, gas or oil
in respect of the tenant's occupation of rented premises that are
separately metered except-

(i) the installation costs and charges in respect of the initial
connection of the service to the rented premises; and

(ii) the supply or hire of gas bottles;

(b) the cost of all water supplied to the rented premises during the
tenant's occupancy if the cost is based solely on the amount of water
supplied and the premises are separately metered;


(c) that part of the charge that is based on the amount of water supplied
to the premises during the tenant's occupation if the cost of water
supplied is only partly based on the amount of water supplied to the
premises and the premises are separately metered;

(d) all sewerage disposal charges in respect of separately metered rented
premises imposed during the tenant's occupation of the rented premises
by the holder of a water and sewerage licence issued under Division 1
of Part 2 of the Water Industry Act 1994;

(e) all charges in respect of the use of bottled gas at the rented
premises in respect of the tenant's occupation of the rented premises.
 
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