We have received an increasing number of enquiries from various businesses and Strata Companies recently regarding the possibility of installing individual water meters to their schemes.
Currently, older strata schemes have one water meter for the entire complex, which is read by the Strata Company (all owners). The Strata Company will then issue individual water rates notices to each Lot Owner individually and equally based on the total water usage.
This means that the owners will pay the same portion of the total bill, regardless of how many people reside in the unit or how much water is consumed.
We now have the option of installing individual water meters (sub-meters) for each lot and entering into an agreement with the Strata Company to have the individual water meters read and each Lot Owner within the scheme billed for their usage. The agreement is based on the following requirements:
All lots within the scheme must have a sub-meter.
The sub-meters are installed in compliance with AS3500 – Plumbing Codes.
The sub-meters are accessible to read.
The Strata Company accepts liability for water consumption supplied to the common property defined as common property water consumption.
The Strata Company accepts the responsibility to either replace the sub-meters every 8 years, or to have each sub-meter “verified” in accordance with the Australian Standard.
The Strata Company agrees that, should the requirements under the agreement not be met, the Council will then revert to the previous system of reading the main meter for the complex and billing the Lot owners based on contribution lot entitlements.
Each installation is unique to each property. A site visit is required to ascertain the best possible routes and method for the installation. Some are relatively simple where others can be quite difficult.
There are various types of sub meter that can be installed. You have the standard type of water meter that has to be manually read or there are Pulse sub meters which have a central reader or linked to a building management system. There is obviously price implications to the pulse option.
Put simply installing sub-meters in a complex is an advantage to both the owner occupier and owner investor because:
As an owner occupier, you are assured that you are only being billed for the water usage that you are actually using.
As an owner investor, the water usage component of your council rates notice can be on-charged to the tenant if:
1. The rental property is individually metered
2. The tenancy agreement stated the tenant must pay for water consumption
This information has been brought to you by Litas Mainstone Plumbing - http://www.litasmainstone.com.au/