Christchurch City Council has recently created a new water usage rate which means that high water consumption households will now be invoiced based on their metered water usage. This change took effect on 1 October 2022.
Each household is allocated 700 litres of water usage per day. Once a household exceeds their allocation they will incur charges of $1.35 per 1000 litres of additional usage. Your water meter will be read by the Council each quarter and the property owner will be invoiced for any excess usage, although this will only be payable if your quarterly bill exceeds $25.00. The Council website has a water report search tool so you can check the current water usage for your property. We have provided a link to this tool here.
There are three circumstances where property owners can apply for a remission for their excess water usage charges. The Council asses these on a case-by-case basis. They are:
Under the Residential Tenancies Act all fixed water charges, rates and insurance premiums are payable by the landlord. However, the tenant is responsible for paying any additional water charges which are incurred based on the tenant’s metered water usage (unless the tenancy agreement states otherwise).
This means that although the new excess water usage bills will generally be recoverable from the tenant, if you are a landlord it is still your responsibility to pay the invoice upfront. Once you have paid the excess water bill you can contact your tenant to request a reimbursement.
It is common for cross lease and unit title properties to have a shared water meter. If you share a water meter, it is not possible for the Council to attribute water usage to your specific property and you will not receive any charges for excess water usage until a separate water meter is installed for solely your property.
Feel free to contact us to discuss the above. We are happy to help.