“Why is water usage free when renting a unit? Is it always free?” – Minnie, NSW

Feature agent: Madeleine Smith, New Client Relations Manager at Raine & Horne Terrigal – Avoca Beach.

See the rental property listings Raine & Horne Terrigal – Avoca Beach currently has listed on Rent.com.au.

See other posts from Madeleine Smith here.

Minnie, we asked Raine & Horne Terrigal – Avoca Beach New Client Relations Manager, Madeleine Smith for her insight into this question.

“No, in some newer units you will pay for water usage,” Madeleine said.

“The reason for this is that the legislation stipulates a property must be:

a) separately metered for water (in order to determine exactly how much water that tenant has used); and
b) meet the water efficiency measures outlined.”

Madeleine said NSW tenants can read more about the legislation on the NSW Fair Trading website.

What you should know about water charges 

  • Think your water bill is too high? You can contact your local water provider about the average water usage
  • If you remove or tamper with a water efficiency device, you will still have to pay for water usage. Not only that, you may have to pay to replace them.
  • Your water billing period is unlikely to align with your lease agreement (or tenancy period). That in mind, it’s important that your water meter reading is noted on your condition report at the start and end of your tenancy. This will make sure you’re not paying for a previous tenant’s usage.
  • Are you a social housing tenant? Contact Housing NSW for water usage payments.
  • These provisions, according to Fair Trading NSW, apply to all tenancies, regardless of the terms of any existing leases.
  • Your water usage must be paid separately to your rent.

You might also like:
– Rental applications: How long before I’m approved for a property?
– Australia’s cheapest (and most expensive) suburbs revealed
– Your rental ledger – Why you should be asking for a copy

Madeleine Smith
Madeleine Smith
Former Business Development Manager at LJ Hooker Gosford | [email protected]

Madeleine Smith was the Business Development Manager for LJ Hooker Gosford, Lisarow, and East Gosford on the Central Coast of New South Wales between 2015 and 2018. She won the LJ Hooker Top Business Development Property Investment Manager NSW/ACT 2017-18 and 2016-2017 awards. During her time at LJ Hooker Gosford, Madeleine also worked as the Senior Property Manager, maintaining a portfolio of 300+ properties, and as a Property Manager.