Rates and water charges
Information on payment of council rates and water charges
LATEST UPDATE: Read more about the coming changes to the residential tenancy laws from 1 July 2013.
Local council rates are paid by the landlord, unless otherwise agreed to in a rental contract.
Paying for water
Charges for water are levied in two distinct ways:
- annual service charges (or "Water Rates") - levied annually on owners for the supply of water to all properties and for sewerage and drainage services (where applicable). These accounts are issued on 1 July; and
- water consumption charges - the water consumption period for each property is determined by the final meter reading cycle carried out by the Water Corporation. Water consumption accounts are sent out on a progressive basis every six months in Perth and four-monthly in country areas (including Mandurah).
Annual service charges for residential premises are normally the responsibility of the owner. Water consumption charges for residential premises are normally your responsibility. However, as discussed below, the tenancy agreement can provide for sharing the costs of water consumption.
Who pays for what?
Tenancy agreements can vary on who pays for the water consumption. When preparing an agreement, it is recommended that you and the landlord negotiate each party’s contribution to the cost of water consumption. Although you can be required to pay 100 per cent of water consumed, some landlords agree to offer a percentage of the bill to cover the cost of maintaining lawns and gardens. Whatever is decided, make sure its in writing.
Landlords can get a special meter reading from the Water Corporation at the beginning and end of a tenancy so that disputes over how much water is used can be avoided. You should make sure the reading is recorded at these times. The Property Condition Report or lease agreement can be used to record the readings.
Landlords should send a written request to the Water Corporation if they want the consumption bill to be in your name.
Water use accounts
All special meter readings by the Water Corporation for individually metered properties result in an account showing the amount of water used between the special reading date and the previous meter reading.
Where a special meter reading is requested by the landlord, the consumption account will also show any amounts previously billed but not paid. (This may include unpaid water rates).
When given an account by the landlord, make sure that only charges for water consumption are included.
The Water Corporation is now able to issue water consumption accounts directly to tenants, but only after a request is received from the landlord.
The Water Corporation charges for a normal special reading (generally for a reading within five working days). A fee is also charged for an urgent reading (generally for a reading within two working days). The landlord is usually issued with the account for these costs, although if you request the reading, you may be liable for the cost.
For current charges call:
The Water Corporation on 13 13 85.
No free water
All water consumed in Western Australia is billed on a user-pays basis.