So we get our AGL gas and electricty bill sent to us from our rental company (account is in their name, gets sent to their address, they scan and forward it on), but they always scribble on it (for example) 25% - $50, 75% - $150. They have split the house we're in into a three bedroom house, and a tiny studio with patio on the back, so she pays this 25% and we (three people living in the house) pay the 75%. They've just done this split by blocking the door between the kitchen and the old "sunroom" out the back which she is now in.
It occurred to us that this probably means we're on the same meter, right? And the rental company is just guessing that if there's four people - three can pay 75% of the bill, and the other in a different residence can pay the 25%.
Legally they can't charge us for utilities if we're not sub-metered.
The property manager has said there is a submeter on her property (which I can't go into and check) but I'm trying to confirm that if we were sub-metered, wouldn't we be getting sent separate bills? So if we're getting the same bill and just asking to pay for part of it, we're on the same meter and shouldn't have to be paying these bills at all?
Hi @LK and welcome to the Community!
The easiest way to determine whether there are multiple meters at the address is by looking on the back of the account statement. You will see different numbers under the 'Meter no.' column towards the top of the page. Unfortunately we are unable to provide you with legal advice on your situation. We suggest you get in contact with your state's Civil and Administrative Tribunal - in NSW this is NCAT.
I want to say this and I have a lot of experience in these matters.
Firstly it seems that the structure you live in is an ordinary detached single dwelling that is being illegally used as a boarding house or illegal duplex.
Commonly a single meter and connection point, plus only a single letter box will be retained by the owner as they are liable to council prosecution if it's found out what they are doing. They like to keep their skullduggery secret as the neighbours could also dob the place in.
instrongky believe there is no sub meter. Your agent has found out the rule and making this up. The fact that the bill has a 25% and 75% written on it and worked out with a pen screams out that there is no sub meter.
I would not pay anything for that bill. It's not in your name and regardless of any agreement you cannot be charged for electricity if they cannot prove to you its sub metered and yoir meter only shows what you use. After all, you could be paying for part of your neighbours consumption. It's on the landlords shoulders to prove any claim, and to be able to show for sure that a separate meter only reports yours and nobody else's power use.
your landlord has no leg to stand on getting electricity money out of you. When you leave, or if you want out of the lease, just quietly let the council know what is going on by calling their building surveyor and tell them that this is an illegal boarding house setup. They will be very interested, I assure you.