Property settlements: Urban Utilities simplifies billing

Urban Utilities is changing the way in which it bills water and wastewater services for customers in the Brisbane, Ipswich and Scenic Rim local government areas.

This will affect the way in which water and sewerage charges are adjusted upon property settlement.

The service provider is implementing a simpler meter reading and billing schedule that will shorten the time between when meters are read and accounts are issued, while service (or access) charges will be billed in arrears, instead of in advance.

These changes will be implemented in stages, having commenced in September 2020 with the transition to be concluded by February 2022.

What does this mean for practitioners?

Urban Utilities does not calculate settlement adjustments for water and sewerage charges upon transfer of a property, this is usually undertaken by solicitors and conveyancers as part of property settlement. Practitioners are reminded that water charges can only be adjusted if the buyer pays for a special water meter reading in accordance with clause 2.6 of the REIQ Contract for Houses and Residential Land (16th ed.) or equivalent thereof.

For the most accurate and current account information, including to determine any outstanding charges against an account, Urban Utilities encourages the use of special water meter reads for settlement adjustments.

Special water meter reads specify the billing period covered by the read and any relevant charges for this period, from which any additional adjustments can be calculated (that is, from the special meter read date to the date of settlement).

To request an Urban Utilities special water meter read, go to https://urbanutilities.com.au/residential/help-and-advice/buying-selling-moving/special-water-meter-read/special-water-meter-read-application.

Calculating water and sewerage charges will be easier under these changes. To determine water and sewerage service charges to the date of property settlement simply multiply the daily service charge rate by the number of days between the special water meter read date and the property settlement date.

To determine water consumption charges to the date of property settlement, multiply the average daily water consumption by the number of days between the special water meter read date and the property settlement date.

For more information, please contact Urban Utilities:

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