Question from Chetna updated on 27th July 2015:
I am looking at building a second dwelling on a tenanted property which would require water and power access from this property. What would be a reasonable arrangement for charging the current tenant their portion of the water and power bills?
Our expert Bernard Parker responded:
For water charging the second property should have a check meter so that the actual usage of both properties can be accurately measured. There is a potential problem with having only one main meter and a second check meter: if there is a leak in the feeder pipe between properties it may go unnoticed and the wastage will result in higher water charges for the tenant of the first property.
The better solution is to have a check meter for each property on the pipe that goes into the house. Each tenant then pays for their own usage on the basis of the check meter reading and, if there is a leak in the feeder pipe, it will be evident from the differences between the readings of the check meters and the main meter.
For electricity it is very sensible to have separate supplier meters for each property. This will avoid the problems that can arise with one tenant paying for a single supply contract and then recouping a share of the usage costs from the other tenant on the basis of a check meter reading.Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.