Utilities What a Landlord Needs to Know

Who pays for the gas, electricity, water and telephone bills in a rental property? Some tenants and landlords are unclear as to who is responsible for the installation and paying the ongoing bills for these services. So, what are your obligations as a landlord?

Under the terms of a standard residential tenancy agreement, the landlord agrees to pay the costs for:
 

  •     Installation for the initial connection of electricity, water, gas
  •     Electricity and gas if the premises are not separately metered
  •     A water service
  •     Sewerage services (other than pump-out of septic tank)
  •     An existing gas supply (if the landlord does not provide gas appliances and the tenant does not use any gas).

 
Source: Tenants NSW
 
A tenant must pay for electricity and gas if the premises are separately metered – such as in a free-standing house or separately metered units.
 
Ongoing costs for water usage are to be billed to the tenant by the landlord. To do this, the landlord must give them a copy of the bill from the supplier and request this payment within 3 months of the date of this bill. A landlord must give the tenant at least 21 days to pay this bill.
 
A landlord is not required to provide phone, television or internet connections to the property. However, if there are existing connections the landlord needs to ensure they are kept in reasonable condition and attend to any maintenance required.