How do I prove water usage?

Everette K asks:
(updated on Monday, July 06th 2009)

How do I prove the water usage if the water account is in the Landlords name? I have been a tenant for 9 years,(tenancy in my name for past 6 years)and every year she charges me waste water. I have compared with my neighbours' bills and now Tenancy Tribunal are saying I have to pay because I have no evidence. Is that right?

Our Experts Answer:

A tenant can only be required to pay water charges if the following three conditions are met:
• the premises have a separate water meter
• the written tenancy agreement says the tenant will pay for metered water
• the water supplier provides water to the premises on a metered basis.

I suggest asking your landlord to give you a copy of water bills you have already paid, so you can check you paid the right amount. You could also ask your landlord for a copy of the water supplier’s bill each billing period for you to check. If you and your landlord can’t agree, you can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to resolve the issue. You will need to provide copies of relevant documents, such as water bills and proof of the amounts you paid.

If you have already attended a Tenancy Tribunal hearing and feel that a substantial wrong or miscarriage of justice occurred, you can contact the Tenancy Tribunal Clerk at the Courts where you attended the hearing to see if the Tribunal will grant you a re-hearing. To discuss your situation further you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262) between 8am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.



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