This policy sets out how water is charged and paid for in South Australian Housing Trust rental properties.

This policy doesn’t apply to:

  • Progressive Purchase Scheme properties
  • housing managed by Housing SA in Aboriginal communities

Exemptions from water use invoices

Housing SA exempts the following from water use invoices:

  • properties in strata and community title groups where it doesn’t own all the properties
  • joint venture properties
  • Specialised Housing Program tenancies

Charging for water

Housing SA:

  • pays water supply and sewerage charges for South Australian Housing Trust rental properties
  • pays water use charges and invoices tenants to recover the cost
  • carries out maintenance at its expense to water and sewerage systems in line with the Maintenance policy

The water provider, for example SA Water, calculates invoices and charges Housing SA. Housing SA oncharges tenants by sending them an invoice:

  • every 3 months
  • at the end of their tenancy

Tenants pay their invoices and any water related charges in line with the Account management policy.

Tenants aren’t invoiced:

Tenants can dispute water invoices by contacting Housing SA. Housing SA investigates and may recalculate their water invoice based on their previous water use.

Separate water meters

Tenants with separate water meters, including flow meters installed by Housing SA, are invoiced for the total amount of water they use.

Housing SA doesn’t install separate water meters and doesn’t allow private water meters, including flow meters, to be installed at South Australian Housing Trust properties.

Shared water meters

If properties share a water meter Housing SA pays for the first 30% of the total water charge as a landlord contribution. The landlord contribution takes into account:

  • minor maintenance, for example repairing dripping taps and running toilets
  • maintaining common areas, for example gardens and shared laundries
  • differences in household size

The rest of the invoice is divided equally between all properties attached to the meter.

Water allowances and credits

Tenants may be eligible for a water concession from Concessions SA.

Water allowances:

  • apply to the tenant, not the property
  • apply only for the approved duration of the allowance
  • can’t be applied to a reading period the tenant’s already been invoiced for

Water allowances stop either:

  • at the end of the approved duration of the allowance
  • when the tenant stops being eligible for it

Special requirements allowance

If someone in a tenant’s household has special requirements that lead to substantial water use, they may be eligible for a Special requirements allowance.

Allowances are for up to 12 months and cover part or all of a tenant’s water invoice.

Tenants who receive a home dialysis allowance from SA Water can also receive an allowance from Housing SA.

Special circumstances credit

Tenants are eligible to have a Special circumstances credit applied to their most recent water invoice if all the below conditions apply:

  • their property has a shared water meter
  • no one lived in the property for at least 2 weeks
  • they can verify there were special circumstances, for example they were in hospital

Credit for substantial water use

Housing SA identifies tenants who are eligible for a credit for substantial water use. Tenants can’t apply for this credit.

Tenants are eligible if they have a separate water meter, and any of the below conditions apply:

  • the water use was due to a burst or leaking pipe
  • the water meter reading was incorrect
  • the wrong water meter number was assigned to the property
  • they can show that factors beyond their control affected the water use

Tenants with a shared meter are only eligible for a credit for substantial water use if it was due to a burst or leaking pipe.

Credit to address soil contamination

Housing SA gives tenants a credit of 200 kilolitres per year when a State Government department tells Housing SA that measures are in place to address soil contamination in that area.

Properties with alternative arrangements

If a South Australian Housing Trust property is in a strata or community group and not all the units or lots are owned by the South Australian Housing Trust, the strata or community corporation determines how water is charged and paid for.

If a South Australian Housing Trust property is leased to another organisation, the agreement with the organisation sets out how water is charged and paid for. Tenants in these properties aren’t eligible for water allowances or credits from Housing SA.

Related information

Controlling documents

This policy is based on and complies with:

Supporting procedures

  • Water procedures v2

Related policies and other documents

Date this policy applies from

14 April 2020

Version number


The online version of the policy is the approved and current version. There’s no guarantee any printed copies are current.