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WA Water Consumption Account - Landlord’s Responsibility Under Property Law?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Raewyn Waerea, 21 June 2015.

  1. Raewyn Waerea

    Raewyn Waerea Member

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    I was renting a property for close to 3 years. Just after 2 years at the property, we had problems with the water reticulation. After several phone calls to landlord and several people they couldn’t find a fault. I received a water account from the landlord for $1000. I immediately contacted them and did testing with the reticulation to eventually find a leak underground. The landlord were insisting I pay this account. I paid $250 off the account and realised it was their responsibility under property law.

    We vacated the property 6 weeks ago, did everything requested by landlord in order to get our bond of $2860 released. Last week I received an account for water use going back 2 years ago for $395. What i don’t understand is why wasn’t this outstanding amount charged earlier and also am concerned that it was an estimate outstanding from the water reticulation problem. I paid all accounts outstanding as i received them, and don’t believe I should have to pay this account.

    I would really appreciate any help with this matter.

    I contacted the WA Department of Commerce and they have advised me to file an F6 form in the court. I am reluctant to do this as you have to represent yourself and am not confident in doing so. If I have to I will, but would prefer to settle out of court if possible.
     
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,

    A couple of questions:
    • When you paid $250 towards the reticulation charge that was your landlord's responsibility, did you get that money back (in cash, or put towards rent etc)?
    • Has your landlord provided an account for the $395? If not, have you asked them for one?
    My approach to the landlord would be as follows:
    • Firstly I'd ask them to scan and email me the account for $395. It is perfectly reasonable to ask for an account showing the outstanding amount and if the amount they are asking for is different to the figure on the account, you can ask them to explain how they came to the figure they are asking.
    • Secondly, if you establish that the account isn't related to the water reticulation, and it relates to your general water consumption charges, check on your rental agreement if tenants are liable for water consumption charges in WA.
    • Thirdly, if the $395 is a legitimate water consumption charge that the tenant should pay and you haven't been reimbursed for the $250 you paid towards the reticulation bill, then you should offer to pay the difference- i.e. $145. Or if you were reimbursed for the $250 you can pay the full amount.
    • If the landlord cannot or does not produce the account, you should say that you are not liable for an amount for which there is no evidence.
    • If there is no account and you haven't been reimbursed the $250, you can say that you request them to release the bond in full otherwise you will be pursuing them for the full bond plus the overpaid $250 in court.
    • Finally, if your landlord still doesn't come to the party, lodge your forms in the Magistrates court. Because you have to self-represent for a bond claim, the process is relatively simple and you can ask the court about what you need to do. So there is no need to get stressed about it!
     

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