This Q&A concerning individual water meters for apartments has been provided by Hayley Gath, Mathews Hunt Legal.
There are about 26 villas in my complex and there is an aged care home next door. We share the water meter with the aged care home.
It’s so unfair because the aged care home uses water 24 hrs a day, they have a cafe, hairdressing salon, commercial laundry etc.
Is it possible to have individual water meters installed for our apartments?
Answer: A body corporate with a single water meter must apportion the costs for water usage between lots in accordance with the contribution schedule lot entitlements.
I assume that:
- your complex of 26 villas is a body corporate regulated by the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997; and
- the aged care home that adjoins your scheme is not part of your body corporate.
It is unlikely that a body corporate would share a water meter with a property next door to it that is completely separate without any formal arrangement. However, if this is the case, your body corporate should obtain further legal advice in relation to retrofitting the body corporate so that it has its own water meter.
A body corporate with a single water meter (that is solely for water supplied to its scheme) must apportion the costs for water usage between lots in accordance with the contribution schedule lot entitlements.
Where there is a single, shared water meter for a scheme, it is widely accepted that this practice will naturally result in lots who use a small amount of water paying more than they would if the lots were individually metered for water usage.
This post appears in Strata News #303.
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