Understand water metering & billing

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.

sydney-water-oc-usage.png

Page 1 of a Sydney Water bill for a strata plan

Example bill received by owners corporation for all water used in the complex

sydney-water-owner-unmetered.png

Sydney Water bill for owners without a meter

Example bill received by owners for service 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.

sydney-water-owner-metered.png

Sydney Water bill for owners with a meter

Example bill received by owners for service charges and water usage

If your building has a centralised hot water system, don’t mistake the hot water meters associated with that system for individual water meters

Last Updated: 
Tue 05/09/2017

Share this page: