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  1. #1

    Default water charges, Who Pays?

    Hi Formies

    I been through previous thread regarding who is liable to paywater charges, not very clear.
    Question: Who pays for water charges (total water bill)?Is it tenant and they deal directly will council/Metro water OR it is LL responsibility? or 50:50?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    NZ, for now
    Posts
    566

    Default

    Two of my houses under Waikato council go automatically into my name for water rates as the Landlord regardless of who lives in the house, only one though (because of former PM's wording on lease agreement) was actually reimbursed by the tenant.

    Check with your PM the wording on their signed agreement. It surprised me that I was signed up to pay for tenant's water.....
    S.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    184

    Default When I was in Akld

    Tnt paid for water useage LL paid for waste water portion. Metro water won't allow water to be in any one else name but the property owner so accounts go to owner and owner or PM have to re-charge it on to tnt. Wording should be std in tenancy agreement regarding water. May work differently for different cities within Akld.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,086

    Default

    In Auckland, the owner of the property is definitely the person liable for paying for water - and it is probably much the same for the rest of NZ.

    Under the standard tenancy terms in the RTA, the tenant has to pay for water.

    So the landlord pays the council, and then the tenant reimburses the landlord.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Bay Of Plenty, NZ
    Posts
    3,603

    Default Get the tenant to pay.

    When the tenant signs the TA, get them to sign that they will pay for all water charges.

    My PM negotiates with the tenant that they pay an extra $10-30/week (whatever TENANT decides) and that is held by PM until water account comes through. PM then pays account from money. The tenant is given a statement of deposits and water accounts every quarter (?) to coincide with the latest water account paid.

    If there is money owing for the water account, the tenant is asked to make up the difference and if there is surplus money still in the "account" the tenant is given the choice of having a refund or keeping the money there for the next account. Most tenants choose to just keep the money there until the next account.

    My tenants love it, they don't notice the small weekly amount going out and they know that their water account is being budgeted for.

    It seems simple but most people don't budget like that and just wait until the power/water/rates account comes in - usually within a week or two of each other, and wonder why they can't manage to pay something.
    Patience is a virtue.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,086

    Default

    Good point by essence - The tenant is not automatically liable for water costs:

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/p.../DLM95084.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    1,768

    Default

    I have been round and round this with water suppliers so many times.
    There are typically three parts to a water bill:
    1. - the charge for metered water supplied to the property. This is normally (by agreement) paid by the tenant.
    2. - a "Fixed service charge" on a daily basis. Under current legislation, the Landlord is liable for this charge.
    3. - a wastewater charge (normally the most expensive portion). Where this wastewater charge is variable dependent on the water supplied, the tenant (by agreement) is liable for this cost. However, where the wastewater is independent of the water usage e.g. a fixed daily charge (as in Manukau City and, I understand, Nelson) then the Landlord is liable and cannot legally pass this cost on to the tenant.
    A real dogs breakfast.

    To compound the problem, most if not all water suppliers will not put the account in the tenants name but only in the Landlords name. They do this just because they can - knowing its easier to get money out of a property owner than a tenant. So the Law protects the business against the people. This means that when the tenant fails to pay their part of the account, its the Landlords name that ends up on the list of bad payers, not the tenant. I probably spend 50% of my PI investment time dealing with water account problems. This makes me really angry.

    The whole mess is a hangover from the days when water was supplied unmetered to the property by the Council, and was charged as a separate fixed yearly or six-monthly item on your rates account - effectively part of the rates, fully paid for by the property owner.

    The only really satisfactory solution to the problem is to make the tenant deal directly with and be fully responsible to the water supply authority, just as they do with the electric power, gas and telephone. No-one suggest that any part of these other utilities (which also incorporate fixed charges and daily charges) should be anything to do with the Landlord, so why should the water be any different?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    NZ, for now
    Posts
    566

    Default

    I agree.

    We have owned our Waikato Council properties for 3 years, with the Tenant whose lease agreement reimbursed me the water meter rates, I was receiving the "refund" back drip fed (no pun intended) at $20 per week less management fee. Just in time for the next bill to arrive.
    Last edited by NESW; 07-06-2008 at 10:36 AM.
    S.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Nelson NZ
    Posts
    3,458

    Default

    Of course it is all about to change.
    Once the RTA is passed the whole country will be the same again.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    1,768

    Default

    From the latest (8 June 200) "Manukau Matters" - the Manukau City official newsheet:
    "Fixed charge for wastewater to remain for Manukau residents . . . which will increase over four years".
    So obviously the Council attitude is not going to change. The only way to get this mess sorted is for a change in Government legislation.


 

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