Utility connections can seem overwhelming at first, but most utilities are pretty straightforward to arrange a connection for.
Water connection, however, can be tricky, as each Australian state has a different set of rules attached to them. While most states say the landlord or real estate must order the water supply, Victoria decided the responsibility falls on the tenant to connect their water service.
Thankfully, we know a thing or two about utility connection here at MyConnect, so here we’ll dive into how you can arrange for a water connection in Victoria.
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How Do I Connect Water?
Water connection varies from property to property, as water providers do not arrange for disconnections when a tenant moves from the property, meaning the existing water connection will remain.
Victorians moving into a property will need to contact their selected water provider to inform them of their billing details and the date of the move. Renters can contact their property owner/real estate agent to specify if the party will organise this for the renter as per the application form. Homebuyers can often have the new water connection arranged through settlement with the conveyancer or solicitor.
For new properties, a water provider will need to be contacted to enable access to the piping under the property. This, in turn, will allow the provider to supply regular drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater services. Once access is granted, a builder or plumber will connect the water on your behalf, at an average cost ranging between $1,500-$3,000 for a new water main line in Australia.
According to the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning, 15 water corporations provide water supply (including recycled water), sewerage (sewer systems), and trade waste disposal services to those in Melbourne and regional Victoria.
For more rural water services, 4 water corporations provide water supply, drainage, and salinity mitigation services for irrigation, domestic, and stock purposes.
These water corporations are:
Who Pays The Water Bills?
Water bill payment is generally agreed upon in your rental agreement, which differs from the rest of Australia.
The best way to determine if the tenant is required to pay for water consumption (water volume on the bill) and sewerage connections is by checking the location of the water meter. If the property has its own meter, then the tenant is responsible for the payment of the above, excluding the service charges surrounding the water supply, wastewater connection, and sewer connection.
Should an apartment block have just one main meter for a standard connection of water, the water provider may bill individual tenants for the percentage cost, typically taken out of the rent costs. Water charges would still fall upon the tenant, but the responsibility of the water provider account would fall to the property owner.
Pricing and payment options are covered close to the sale of a property, including a special meter reading to calculate the charges due at the time of settlement by the water provider. Some water providers also charge a tenant meter read to the property owner when a new tenant settles into the property, covering the cost of reading the meter between tenants and setting up separate accounts.
When Can I Get Connected?
Technically, water should still be connected to the property from previous tenants so there’s no panic that the house will have no water use.
To ensure payment is settled and the water connection remains, informing the water provider of the move-in date and details as soon as possible is recommended, especially if the responsibility of paying the water bill falls on you.
For those living in Victoria, MyConnect can register and update your water bills to ensure the water connection for your new home is sorted.
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