Well first things first, There are three components to the water bill; Fixed charges, Volumetric Water Usage & Volumetric Wastewater usage.

The owner is responsible for paying the fixed charges.

The tenant is to pay for any volumetric water usage and volumetric wastewater charges if:

  • the property has a separate water meter
  • the water supplier provides water on a metered basis
  • the charges can be exclusively attributed to the tenants use of the property.

Otherwise the landlord pays for it.

What about properties in a body corporate or unit title?

If the property is part of a unit title complex, the body corporate rules form part of the tenancy agreement. Landlords should tell tenants if the rules regulate water supply among the units.

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Just a note that applies to Auckland properties serviced by Watercare:

A way to simplify landlord and tenant responsibilities around wastewater payments is to opt into Watercare’s new billing system.

As of 10 May 2016, landlords can opt to pay all of the fixed wastewater charges in one payment. By opting in, the fixed charges will be cleared for the remainder of the year, and the remaining components (water and wastewater) become the sole responsibility of the tenant.