Advice

Water - Who pays for what?

Water charges

The tenant pays for water charges if:

  • the property has a separate water meter
  • the water supplier provides water to the property on a metered basis
  • the charges can be exclusively attributed to the tenants occupation of the premises.

A metered water supply allows a water supplier to charge for the amount of water used.

The landlord is responsible for paying the whole water account. They can then seek reimbursement from the tenant.

The water account cannot be put in the tenants name, but some water companies allow a copy of the account to be sent to the tenant with the landlords permission.

Where the tenant reimburses the landlord for water charges, the tenant pays water charges only for the property they’re renting.

Wastewater charges

Water suppliers may charge for wastewater in different ways, including fixed charges or charges for the amount of wastewater produced. This varies around the country.

Landlords are usually responsible for fixed wastewater charges. These are charged whether or not the property is occupied.

Tenants may be charged for the wastewater they produce. Some water suppliers calculate wastewater based on how much water they supply.

What happens if water charges aren’t paid

If the tenant pays the landlord, but the landlord doesn’t pay the supplier and the water is disconnected, the landlord may be responsible for reconnection.

If the tenant doesn’t pay, the tenant is in breach of their tenancy agreement. The landlord can issue a 14-day notice to remedy to give the tenant 14 days to pay. If the tenant still doesn’t pay, the landlord can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to get it sorted.


How will the election effect my investments?

Election time is less than a day away and a lot has changed in the last 6 weeks with it being interesting to see if the ‘personality politics’ that worked so well for National under John Key also work with Jacinda Ardern taking the reigns over a Labour party that until that stage had managed to continue to trip over itself over the best part of the last decade. Under MMP the two major parties will continue to battle for the centre with NZ First and Winston Peters in particular looking increasingly likely to play “Kingmaker” at the moment especially with the withdrawal of Peter Dunne from Ohariu.

It is interesting to note that most of Labours increase has actually come at the expense of the Greens and NZ First however as some of their natural voters may continue to shy away if they feel that either party has any real risk of missing the 5% threshold and thus potentially being a wasted vote.

Often people (including myself at times) tend to continue to vote for a particular party even though they don’t necessarily keep up to date with that or other parties actual updated policies and stances. If you want a quick assessment of where you actually might stand THIS quick quiz is worth taking and is also a bit of fun.

There are many components that need to be looked at when addressing a political parties policies with education and health in particular being of importance but keeping on our general businesses commentary in talking about the property market (including the rental market) and the economy I will focus on these areas.

Firstly click the following for more information on Housing & Rental Policies and for Economic Policies if you want a quick run-down on where individual parties stand.

A summary on how the two major parties are approaching property this election is as follows:

 

National:

 

  • Increase the HomeStart Grant by $10k for those eligible so it is $20k for an existing home and $30k for new builds
  • Develop fit-for purpose urban planning laws separate from the RMA
  • Make it easier for landlords to test properties for meth and evict tenants
  • Make tenants liable for careless damage to a rental property

 

Labour Party:

 

  • Ban foreign purchasers from buying existing homes
  • Extend the Bright Line rule from 2 out to 5 years
  • Stop investors offsetting tax losses against other income sources
  • Build 100,000 affordable homes over 10 years
  • Apprentice policy to take on circa 4,000 young people for on job training in construction fields
  • Remove urban growth boundaries in Auckland
  • Substantially increase number of state houses
  • Implement Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill
  • Abolish 90 day no-clause terminations of tenancies
  • Increase 42 day notice period for landlords from 42 days out to 90 days
  • Limit rental increases to once a year
  • Ban letting fees

 

Again if just looking at this with my property investor hat on National (or ACT) obviously are the best options as Labour have shown that property investors will be worse off under their watch with the extension of the Brightline tax rule from 2 to 5 years (I am personally fine with this) to numerous changes in regards to how tenancies will be handled (some that I am not okay with). The bigger issue is obviously what is already all over the media which was her avoidance to provide more clarity around taxation. We’ve seen the recent poll showing that National had spiked back up and commentary from the NZ Herald including pieces from Richard Prebble who used to himself be a Labour MP (before becoming a leader of ACT) and THIS piece which also shows that it was a large faux pas to not give more detail in regards to the actual intentions that Labour had although belatedly they have now backed off realising that voters want more certainty.

The question from now through to Election Day is whether voters will stay away because of worries around her political naivety shown by her handling of situations like this or whether the initial “stardust” that has seen her rise to become Labour’s leader continues.

Tony Alexander and Matthew Gilligan will be doing a Post-Election Special Webinar on the 26th September immediately after the election to discuss the results.


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