Water Rates, the saga continues..
Gordon Gabriel asks:
(updated on Monday, May 14th 2007)
Our Experts Answer:
The Department cannot comment on the specific billing practices of water companies. The law provides that the ratepayer (usually the owner) is liable for rates, including water rates, on a rental property (Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, section 12). This means that the ratepayer will be legally responsible for any outstanding water rates if water bills are not paid.
However, a landlord can recover the cost of water rates from his or her tenant(s), under section 39 of the Residential Tenancies Act, provided that all three conditions below are met:
- 1. The premises have a separate water meter, and
- 2. The tenant’s written tenancy agreement states that, at the start of the tenancy, the tenant will pay for metered water provided to the tenancy; and
- 3. The water supplier charges for water provided to the premises on a metered basis.
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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