Water sub-metering for properties

Sub-metering of multi-unit and non-residential properties

Sub-meters are required to be installed in any new premises drawing water from the water service provider for separate lots. This applies to:

  • any type of building under a community title scheme, including common property
  • all rented or leased sole occupancy units in class 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 new buildings (check building classes).

This means that:

  • water service providers can directly charge the owners of separate lots in new buildings for water consumption
  • owners of new buildings under single title with multiple tenancies can receive an itemised bill based on sub-meter readings. The owner can then opt to pass the cost of water onto the individual user.

Multi-unit and non-residential properties built before 1 January 2008

Before 1 January 2008 it was not mandatory to install water meters with multi-unit residential premises and commercial premises.

For community title schemes, water service providers usually installed water meters outside the property boundary. Charges for water supplied to the lots within the scheme are often levied on the body corporate.

Under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997, these charges were often distributed among lot owners on the basis of lot entitlements. This meant that individual lot owners had no knowledge of their individual water use and may have been discouraged in their attempts to reduce the amount of water they consumed.