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Who pays utility costs in a rented home?

In rented properties, the landlord is responsible for all costs related to the disposal of sewerage and drainage services, if the property is not separately metered.

If the property has a separate meter, the tenant is responsible for sewerage disposal charges.

If the property is in rural or regional Victoria and has a septic tank, but is not connected to external sewerage infrastructure, the landlord must pay for sewerage supply and disposal.

The landlord must pay all installation and initial connection costs for:

  • electricity
  • water
  • gas (including bottled gas)
  • oil supply.

If there is a separate meter for these utilities, the tenant must pay all usage charges for electricity, gas and oil, unless otherwise agreed. If there is not a separate meter, the landlord must pay.

If the property uses bottled gas, the landlord must pay for the supply or hire of bottles and the tenant must pay for the gas usage.

The landlord must reimburse the tenant if the tenant has paid the costs of any utilities for which the landlord is liable.

For water billing, the landlord should provide the relevant water authority with details of new occupants in a property.

The tenant should notify the relevant water authority of the date they will vacate the property, so a final reading can be done and the bill sent to the tenant (if the property is separately metered). Once this has been done, the billing defaults to the landlord until the water authority receives notification of new occupants.

If there is a dispute over who should pay, you can apply for a ruling from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

As Victoria's consumer affairs regulator, we help landlords, agents and tenants understand their rights and responsibilities.

Tenants and Landlords