The apartments and/or townhouses in your complex may not have their own cold water meter. Most apartments in NSW don’t. In Sydney Water’s catchment area, individual cold water meters for new apartments were not mandated until late 2014.
If individual apartments don’t have their own water meter there is a single water meter for the entire building, and the owners corporation pays a single bill for all water used – both on common property and in apartments. That expense to the administrative fund is reflected in the levies paid by every owner. So owners pay for water based on their unit entitlement, irrespective of the actual water used by themselves or their tenants - and tenants never see a water bill.
If you’re not sure of the metering setup, you can check by:
- Asking your water utility, or
- Examining the bills that the owners corporation and owners receive
Water bills have 2 main categories of charges:
- Service charges – for providing water and sewerage services and meters in the first place; and
- Usage charges – for the water actually used
When there is only one meter for the entire complex
- each lot owner receives a quarterly bill for service charges
- the owners corporation receives a quarterly bill for water usage charges.
If apartments are separately metered
Each owner receives a quarterly bill for water usage & service charges.
Landlords may choose to pass on some charges in accordance with state tenancy legislation.
If your building has a centralised hot water system, don’t mistake the hot water meters associated with that system for individual water meters