VIC Leaking Toilet Lands a $400 Water Bill?

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Nick JB

12 October 2014
Hey folks,

My partner and I recently went to visit my family in the UK for 3 months, and we had someone staying at our apartment looking after things. On our return, we received a water bill covering the same months we were away, and the usage was through the roof; 10 x higher than an average month, coming in at over $400 for the quarter. Ouch.

We have speculated the usage might be due to a constantly running toilet which we're now rushing to have fixed. My question is, where do we stand under Australian Consumer Law in terms of paying/not paying this huge excess usage bill for an unknown leak during our time away?

Many thanks in advance, we really appreciate your expert advice.


LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
Water companies are not responsible for leaks on your side of the meter. Maybe ask your 'tenant' to pay, they were the ones in the place. Otherwise see it as a small price to pay to have someone look after your place while you were away. :)
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Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
I agree with Rod. Water leakages are not the problems of the water company. However, you may arrange a financial payment arrangement if you cannot afford the bill in one go. You can try and call the Electricity and Water Ombudsman Victoria however, I suspect they will give you the same response.

Nick JB

12 October 2014
Thanks guys,

The water company just sent us a letter asking us to check for leakages and to point out an unusually high reading, which I thought was good of them to do. Seems they're open to the possibility of a problem and working with us to resolve, even though the problem is not necessarily their responsibility. When there's an obvious problem, I do think the supplier should have some sort of responsibility to work with the customer on some level, which is what they seem to be doing. I also assumed that there may be some sort of fair trading policy that covered customers in this situation, that's all.