Who pays for installation of a water meter?

Question from gillian birkett updated on 8th April 2009:

can a landlord get someone who does not work for the water-board to put a water meter in and the landlord reads the meter himself and charge what rate he likes?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

Local councils and water suppliers in different areas may have differing policies about who is responsible for installing water meters. Where the water supplier owns the water meter, they may only permit contractors of their choice to connect the water meter to the mains. I suggest speaking to your local council about the requirements that apply to your property. You can then discuss this with your landlord.

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

If the landlord has read the water meter and provided you with costs based on their calculation, I suggest you ask them for a copy of the receipt, or the water supplier’s bill, so you can ensure you are paying what they have paid to the water supplier. For more advice and information about water charges, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

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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