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Many people live or work in rented houses, apartments or workplaces. Sometimes it can be a little confusing when it comes to responsibilities and paying bills - who is responsible for what? Tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities fall under Victorian state law and GWMWater's policies are in accordance with these laws.


Service charges cover the costs for us to access and maintain the water network connected to your property.

Usage charges pay for the water you use in your home or property for activities such as showering, doing the laundry and cooking. Your usage charges will usually change a little from bill to bill as your water consumption varies.


Residential properties

In residential properties, GWMWater bills for services and usage. In some cases a tenant may pay for water usage if the lease specifies this responsibility. However, a landlord can't give the tenant responsibility for water usage costs unless that property has its own water meter (e.g. not a shared water meter in an apartment building).

Check the below table to see what fees or charges you might be responsible for:

Service charge (water and wastewater) Yes No
Usage charge Yes Yes*
Meter reading for incoming or vacating tenant Yes No
Notice of property vacation Yes Yes*
Eligible for financial concessions No Yes


*Only if the tenant has accepted responsibility for water usage costs.

Adobe PDF file icon 24x24Residential Tenancies Fact Sheet - Landlords and Tenants: Who Pays? (610kB)


Commercial properties

The responsibility for water payments in commercial properties lies with the property owner. On written request we can send bills to the tenant, but duplicates will be sent to the property owner as they're ultimately responsible for payment. Unlike with residential properties, GWMWater doesn't read the meter or adjust the account according to tenancy movements.

Service charge (water and wastewater) Yes No
Usage charge Yes No
Notice of property vacation Yes* Yes*
Eligible for rebates Yes** Yes**


*Either party can notify us.

**Properties occupied by a not-for-profit organisation may be eligible for a rebate on service charges.

Adobe PDF file icon 24x24Commercial Tenancies Fact Sheet - Landlords and Tenants: Who Pays? (469kB)


Further information...

Update my details

If you pay the water bill for a property (i.e. you're the account holder) and any of your details change, please let us know. Remember, it's your responsibility to keep us informed!



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