Water charging policy

1. Purpose

The purpose of the Water Charging policy is to explain who is responsible for payment of water charges in BlueCHP properties; how the water charges are assessed and applied and how water costs are calculated in properties that are not individually metered.

2. Scope

This policy relates to BlueCHP properties, social or affordable, where the tenancies are managed by BlueCHP. BlueCHP properties managed by other housing providers under Service Level Agreements will be subject to the policy of the managing provider.

3. Policy statement

All Residents are responsible for water usage charges at their property, in accordance with an invoice received from the Water Authority. BlueCHP may charge all Residents for water usage in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (RTA), the relevant Ministerial Guidelines and this policy. Water charging is separate from all other charges including rent. The charge for water is levied each quarter. The amount may be paid by instalments at the same time as rental payments. Residents are required to pay for their actual water usage, where properties are individually metered. For properties with shared water meters, this policy outlines how water usage charges are calculated.

4. Calculation of water charges

4.1 Properties with separate water meters

Tenants will be charged for their water usage in accordance with the invoice received from the Water Authority. Water charge invoices will be sent to the tenant, within 3 months of the date of issue from the Water Authority.

4.2 Properties with shared water meters

BlueCHP is responsible for all costs associated with water provision, such as water connection charges, sewerage and other charges, as well as usage charges for the provision of water in common areas. BlueCHP will pay for the estimated water usage for all common areas by deducting 5% off the total water usage bill for the property before charging the remainder of the costs to the tenants sharing the property. Water usage charges will be calculated on the number of people per household.

For example, if you live in a block of units and there are a total number of 20 people living at the block, the bill, after the 5 % deduction for common area usage, will be divided by 20, and then multiplied by the number of people in your household.

4.3 Determining water usage charges for new Residents

In the case of properties with individual water metres, BlueCHP will take the water meter reading at the beginning of the tenancy, and calculate the number of kilolitres used by the tenant when the subsequent invoice is received from the Water Authority. Where the tenant has a shared water meter, the tenant will be charged a percentage of the water charges, as determined in 4.2, based on the number of days the property has been occupied.

4.4 Determining water usage charges at the end of tenancy

In the cases of properties with individual water meters, a water meter reading will be taken within 24 hours of the end of the tenancy, or in the case of weekends and Public Holiday, the next working day. A per kilolitre charge, equal to that determined by the Water Authority will be applied, using the water meter reading from the previous billing period. Where the exiting tenant has a shared water meter, they will be charged a percentage of the water charges, as determined in 4.2, based on the number of days the property has been occupied.

4.5 Resident is temporarily away from their property

There is no exemption from water usage charges for Residents temporarily away from their dwelling.

4.6 Adjustments

BlueCHP may adjust water charges on tenant’s accounts in exceptional circumstances such as a burst water pipes or undetectable leaks, where the tenants are not at fault or had no way of detecting that a leak existed.

4.7 Payments of water usage charges

A tenant may pay for their water usage charges in full on receipt of an invoice from BlueCHP. Where a tenant chooses to do this, it must be paid within 21 days from receipt of the water bill.

A tenant may also elect to pay an amount towards water charges each week/fortnight, at the same time as making their rent payment.

4.8 Legislative and Regulatory Framework

  • Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (Section 139).
    The Standard Form Tenancy Agreement used by BlueCHP is, Schedule 1 of the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010. The references to water charging in the standard form agreement are based on section 39 of the RTA and will not be consistent with section 139 of the RTA. However, section 137 of the RTA states that Part 7 of the RTA will prevail over any other provision of this Act or the regulations in the event of inconsistency.
  • Community Housing Water Charging Guidelines – NSW

4.9 Complaints and Appeals

A tenant who is not happy with the decision made by BlueCHP or who believes that BlueCHP has not followed this policy can utilize BlueCHP’s Complaints and Appeals Policy.