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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > Construction > Building and plumbing > Plumbing and drainage > Sub-metering


Sub-metering of multi-unit and non-residential properties

Since 1 January 2008, sub-meters are required to be installed in any new premises drawing water from the water service provider for separate lots in any type of building under a community title scheme, including common property, and all rented or leased sole occupancy units in class 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 new buildings.

This measure ensures that water service providers are able to directly charge the owners of separate lots in new buildings for water consumption. It also enables the provision of an itemised bill based on sub-meter readings to the owners of new buildings under single title with multiple tenancies. The owner can then opt to pass the cost of water onto the individual user.

Amendments have also been made to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 to prohibit body corporates from making their own charging arrangements for water use.

Water service providers will own and maintain the sub-meters under the Water Act 2000, with the service provider either installing or contracting a plumber to install sub-meters. Section 383 of the Water Act 2000 provides that a meter is the property of the water service provider. To provide consistency with the Water Act 2000, amendments to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 will clarify that a device installed for measuring the reticulation or supply of water for a community titles scheme is the property of the service provider and not the body corporate. 

Multi-unit and non-residential properties built before 1 January 2008

Prior to 1 January 2008 it was not mandatory to install water-meters with multi-unit residential premises and commercial premises.
For community title schemes water meters were usually installed outside the property boundary by the water service provider (mostly local government). Charges for water supplied to the lots within the scheme are often levied on the body corporate.
Under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 these charges were often distributed amongst lot owners on the basis of lot entitlements. This meant that individual lot owners had no knowledge of their individual water use and may be discouraged in their attempts to reduce their individual consumption. 

Additional resources

This publication was produced prior to the current government.

Sub-meter guidelines—for councils, plumbers, builders, developers, water service providers and community title managers (PDF, 146KB).

Last updated 30 June 2019    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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