Notice to tenants regarding water usage charges

As a result of the Ministerial Guidelines for Community Housing Water Charging which came into effect on 1 November 2012, new arrangements are now in place for the payment of water usage by Metro tenants. The key changes are:

  1. Tenants who reside in capital properties with “shared” meters will now be charged for water usage. Water usage charges will be capped at 4% of your assessed rent.
    Tenant’s contributions to water usage cannot exceed the actual water usage charges billed by Sydney Water. Payments from tenants will be reconciled against the actual water charges on a quarterly basis and any payments that exceed the Sydney Water authority charges will be refunded upon request or transferred to your rent account if you indicate this as your preference.
    Tenants in unit complexes, duplexes or shared properties will not be responsible for water usage charges relating to common areas.
  2. From 1/11/2012 all Community Housing tenants have the option of paying their water usage charges in fortnightly installments. Tenants who wish to pay by installments will generally need to make payments at the same time rent is paid. All Payments will be recorded as a credit in your non-rent account. You will need to complete the relevant form, which can be downloaded from our Tenant Forms section.
  3. Where there is sufficient history of average water usage – generally a minimum of 4 previous water usage accounts from Sydney Water, instalments will be based on an average usage amount.
    New tenants will be charged 4% of their assessed rent until we can do an averaging across the previous four billing periods.

Where a property is separately metered, the amount received from tenants will be recorded in their non-rent account and reconciled against the actual water usage charges when the Sydney Water bill is received by Metro every quarter.

Tenants whose fortnightly payments do not fully cover the water usage charge shown on the Sydney Water account at the end of each quarter, or tenants who choose to pay water usage in a lump sum rather each quarter will be required to pay all Sydney Water usage charges within 30 days of the date they are invoiced.

Allowances may be made for tenants to pay a reduced amount in relation to water usage charges in certain situations. These circumstances could include:

  • tenants on very low incomes, such as Youth Allowance,
  • tenants in homes with a large household size,
  • households where a household member uses a dialysis machine,
  • households where the tenant or a household member suffer from a medical condition that require high water usage.

Tenants should contact their Housing Officer to discuss any concerns about the application of the Water Usage charging policy. Tenants have a right of appeal and can exercise their right to complain in accordance with the Metro Community Housing Complaint Policy.

If you wish to make your water usage payments by fortnightly installments, you will need to print and sign the attached pdf version of this policy (click here to download the PDF). You can then complete the form and post this back to Metro Housing at PO Box 1198, Newtown NSW 2042. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us on tel. 9565 4599.