Who pays for water charges?

Question from Anthony Cheng updated on 4th December 2008:

Hi, sorry to ask this question again as it seems it has been posed many times. However, the answer to the who pays the water charges it not completely clear. I understand that the three clauses must be met for the tenant to be responsible for water charges, but if only fresh water is metered and then the usage of waste water is estimated to be 75% of freshwater does waste water still count as metered water?

Our expert Jeff Montgomery responded:

As you are aware, a tenant may be required to pay for water charges 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.

Where waste water is charged as a percentage of the fresh water charge and the above conditions are met then the tenant may be responsible for the waste water charge. This is because the amount charged for waste water still depends on the total amount of water used. For more advice and information about who is responsible for 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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