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  1. #1

    Default Sick of being an unpaid Watercare collector!

    Currently i have 2 tenants frequently behind on their water payments. An ongoing nuisance and time waster!

    I am not paid for my time to collect this money nor am i paid to handle the difficulty and stress regarding the errant tenants.

    It sickens me that the Tenancy Services Division cannot step in and require Watercare to directly invoice the tenants for water the same way as power to the property is handled.

    I think FlyerNZL was campaigning to get his local politician to try and get this too happen the same way it is done in Australia and other countries where water is invoiced directly to the tenant from the provider.

    Anyone got an update on when this will be implemented?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    129

    Default

    should the watercare bill not be in the tenants name?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    3,070

    Default

    Watercare will not accept a residential tenant as a customer, only the residential property owner.

    Update - we have met face-to-face with the recently appointed CEO of Watercare. and he was willing to at least listen to our proposals (unlike Ford the previous CEO).
    Our current stratergy is to request that Watercare to allow the residential landlord to pay the annual fixed daily charge (currently $200) in one lump sum at the start of the year.
    This would allow the foillowing 11 monthly Watercare invoices to be forwarded by the landlord directly to the tenant without the current necessary complicated deductions.

    The option exists right now for Watercare to send a copy of the monthly invoice directly to the tenant, but the landlord still remains legally liable for ensuring payment.

    I fear that this obligation will not change until either the Government enacts legislation to enforce the change (unlikely) or Watercare end up in a competitive situation against another water supplier (even more unlikely).
    Last edited by flyernzl; 16-01-2016 at 10:17 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,652

    Default

    Could always raise rents and not on charge water? Not saying it is an ideal option, but it would prevent your current issue.

    In my opinion Watercare should invoice the fixed rates portion to the damned council, who can tack it on to the rates we already pay. Then the variable portion could go right to the tenant, totally their responsibility. Everything is simpler.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    3,070

    Default

    There has been a long discussion about this in a previous thread.
    But anyway, to recap . . .

    The whole concept of bringing in a volume-related charge for water supplied was to reward those who were thrifty with water and penalize those who wasted it.
    So if a landlord just raises the rent by a fixed portion to cover the cost of the water, that immediatly destroys the whole reason why volume-related charging was brought in in the first place.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flyernzl View Post
    Watercare will not accept a residential tenant as a customer, only the residential property owner.

    Update - we have met face-to-face with the recently appointed CEO of Watercare. and he was willing to at least listen to our proposals (unlike Ford the previous CEO).
    Our current stratergy is to request that Watercare to allow the residential landlord to pay the annual fixed daily charge (currently $200) in one lump sum at the start of the year.
    This would allow the foillowing 11 monthly Watercare invoices to be forwarded by the landlord directly to the tenant without the current necessary complicated deductions.

    The option exists right now for Watercare to send a copy of the monthly invoice directly to the tenant, but the landlord still remains legally liable for ensuring payment.

    I fear that this obligation will not change until either the Government enacts legislation to enforce the change (unlikely) or Watercare end up in a competitive situation against another water supplier (even more unlikely).

    Thanks for your efforts in this FlyerNZL. How is it that the Water providers in Australia invoice directly to the tenant? Was it always like this - or did protest action need to be met to get a change implemented?
    What about other countries - the UK for example?

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mrsaneperson View Post
    How is it that the Water providers in Australia invoice directly to the tenant? Was it always like this - or did protest action need to be met to get a change implemented?
    Definitely wasn't the case when I lived in Sydney (left for WA in 06). We got a quarterly bill from the agent with a copy of the complete bill. I can't remember the details but the landlord paid the first $50 and after that the tenant was liable under the tenancy agreement. For the life of me I can't even remember what we paid in WA towns (Port Hedland and Mandurah).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    3,070

    Default

    We have got to the current situation throgh an accident of history.

    Councils used to charge for water on the basis of a fixed flat charge on each rates bill - $40 comes to mind.
    As this was predictable and did not vary, Landlords were able to anticipate this overhead and factor it in when they set the rent.
    The current RTA assumed that this would continue to be the case, unlike electric power, gas, hardline phone and other utilities that predated the RTA and were therefore always and still are solely the tenants responsibility.

    From the early 1990s, Auckland councils started installing water meters as a conservation measure.
    Thus ever since we have had this ongoing mess and argument over water bills.

    Our argument is that Watercare should send one bill to the landlord at the start of the year for the fixed charge (currently $200).
    The monthly bills for water used and wastewater should then go directly to the tenant, and the onus for chasing up payment on those should be Watercare's not the Landlord's.
    That would neatly fulfill the current interpretation of the RTA.

    I have no knowledge on the Australian situation, but right now Irish Water is being set up in the Irish Republic, and right from the start the residential tenant will be fully responsible for any and all water-related charges. No argument.

    Of course Watercare is quite happy to take on a commercial property tenant as their customer, just not residential.
    Go figure.
    Last edited by flyernzl; 17-01-2016 at 03:14 PM.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flyernzl View Post
    We have got to the current situation throgh an accident of history.

    Councils used to charge for water on the basis of a fixed flat charge on each rates bill - $40 comes to mind.
    As this was predictable and did not vary, Landlords were able to anticipate this overhead and factor it in when they set the rent.
    The current RTA assumed that this would continue to be the case, unlike electric power, gas, hardline phone and other utilities that predated the RTA and were therefore always and still are solely the tenants responsibility.

    From the early 1990s, Auckland councils started installing water meters as a conservation measure.
    Thus ever since we have had this ongoing mess and argument over water bills.

    Our argument is that Watercare should send one bill to the landlord at the start of the year for the fixed charge (currently $200).
    The monthly bills for water used and wastewater should then go directly to the tenant, and the onus for chasing up payment on those should be Watercare's not the Landlord's.
    That would neatly fulfill the current interpretation of the RTA.

    I have no knowledge on the Australian situation, but right now Irish Water is being set up in the Irish Republic, and right from the start the residential tenant will be fully responsible for any and all water-related charges. No argument.

    Of course Watercare is quite happy to take on a commercial property tenant as their customer, just not residential.
    Go figure.
    Probably because it will cost them too much to go after overdue bills of residential tenants for the amount that they are collecting. Hence, cleverly avoid taking on the responsible from the property owners.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arpoo View Post
    Probably because it will cost them too much to go after overdue bills of residential tenants for the amount that they are collecting. Hence, cleverly avoid taking on the responsible from the property owners.
    The simple fact is that the owner is a 'captive' customer. Tenants 'disappear' from time to time. Administratively and legally it is far easier to bill the owner than itinerant renters. There are lotsa creative ways to deal with the issue. A bank authority form to deduct water rates at time of signing the lease for example.


 

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