Fixed utility costs?

Question from John updated on 19th July 2013:

If water supply charges are paid for by the owner and not the tenant for a rental then what about fixed supply charges on power?

Our expert Alan Bruce responded:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 (the Act) the landlord is responsible for all outgoings incurred in respect to the premises, whether or not the premises are occupied and also for those charges which are incurred for common facilities. Examples of types of outgoings to be paid by the landlord may include house insurance premiums, property rates and fixed water charges for supply of water to the premises. The Act also states that the tenant is responsible for all outgoings in respect of the premises that are exclusively attributable to the tenant’s occupation of the premises or to the tenant’s use of the facilities. This includes electricity charges where those charges are exclusively attributable to the tenant’s occupation of the premises. To discuss your situation further, or for information and advice about fixed supply charges you can call 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262) between 8.00am-5.30pm Monday to Friday to speak to a member of our Tenancy Advice Team.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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