Power sharing

Ben asks:
(updated on Thursday, October 13th 2016)

We live on a property with two separate dwellings but we share a power meter. At the moment we pay 50% of the power bill each month but in the house we share power with the owner is an elderly lady who is at home all the time. This drives our power bill through the roof, especially over winter. Do we have a right to request a sub- meter so that we know exactly how much power we are using and can pay our fair share?

Our Experts Answer:

A tenant is only responsible for paying for outgoings such as power and water that they use themselves. When there are multiple dwellings on a property, or individual room agreements within a house, the bill for the outgoings needs to be in the name of the landlord.

If the landlord does not include the power and water costs in the rent, and wants to recover them from the tenants, then there needs to be separate meters installed so that you are only paying what you have used. These are also known as ‘check meters’. You should ask your landlord to install the check meter (at their cost).

The landlord cannot just divide the bill up between the number of tenancies in place, or by the number of people living at the premises, unless the Tenancy Tribunal permits the arrangement.

Where a tenant has been paying costs such as power or water where it cannot be proved exactly how much they have used, they may be able to request that the amount paid or a portion of it be refunded by making an application to the Tenancy Tribunal.

For further information regarding landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities, you can visit our website at www.tenancy.govt.nz.

Heartland Bank - Online 1.99
The Co-operative Bank - First Home Special 2.09
HSBC Special 2.25
ICBC 2.25
HSBC Premier 2.25
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special 2.25
AIA 2.29
TSB Special 2.29
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 2.29
SBS Bank Special 2.29
Westpac Special 2.29
Heartland Bank - Online 2.35
ICBC 2.35
HSBC Premier 2.35
TSB Special 2.49
SBS Bank Special 2.49
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 2.59
BNZ - Classic 2.59
ASB Bank 2.59
AIA 2.59
China Construction Bank Special 2.65
Kiwibank Special 2.65
HSBC Premier 2.89
TSB Special 2.99
AIA 2.99
Westpac Special 2.99
ICBC 2.99
ASB Bank 2.99
China Construction Bank Special 2.99
BNZ - Classic 2.99
SBS Bank Special 3.19
Kiwibank Special 3.19
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 3.19
Heartland Bank - Online 2.50
Resimac 3.39
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40
Kiwibank Special 3.40
Kiwibank 3.40
Bluestone 3.49
Select Home Loans 3.49
ICBC 3.69
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40
Kainga Ora 4.43