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Sub-divided Units

Amendment of Waterworks Regulations related to Landlords Recovering Tenants for Water Charge (applicable to Sub-divided Units)

In light of the enact of the Waterworks (Waterworks Regulations) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, the amended Regulation 47 of the Waterworks Regulations only allows a registered consumer of the WSD (usually the landlords) to recover from the occupants of the premises (usually the tenant) the water charge paid to the WSD.  If the amount recovered by the landlord exceeds the water charge paid to the WSD, the landlord shall be guilty of an offence. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of HK $ 10,000.  The amended WWR strengthens the protection of tenants of sub-divided units from being overcharged for water.

To avoid any dispute arising from recovery of the water charge, landlords of sub-divided units should discuss and agree with their tenants a suitable and acceptable apportionment.   Landlords or tenants may also consider applying to the WSD for the installation of separate water meters for sub-divided units to enable tenants to pay water charge based on the water consumption

The WSD will step up the publicity on combating water overcharge to tenants of sub-divided units through a series of activities, including meeting with the relevant groups and estate agency organisations, as well as distributing leaflets and posters to tenants, and disseminating relevant information on the department’s website, etc..

The WSD has all along been encouraging the public to report unscrupulous landlords for overcharging tenants of sub-divided units for water. A relevant option has been available under its enquiry hotline on 2824 5000.  After calling the hotline, the public can choose language (1, 2 or 3 (Cantonese, Putonghau or English), and then press "7" to select the option of "Report Water Overcharge of Sub-divided Units " for reporting to the staff direct.

Meanwhile, the WSD will continue to conduct proactive patrols in suspected sub-divided units to investigate any situation of overcharging for the use of water. Prosecution will be instituted should there be sufficient evidence.

Points to note when collecting water charges for sub-divided units

Landlords

Tenants

Estate Agents

Application of separate water meter for “Sub-divided Units”

Application requirements

Landlords/tenants of sub-divided units applying for the installation of separate water meters should meet the following requirements:

  1. Provision of a proper mailing address for receiving water bills and communication with the WSD;
  2. The premises should be maintained with a free access to ensure that the Water Authority can enter the premises to carry out inspection and other duties for the inside service;
  3. The separate water meters should be installed in the communal area for meter reading by WSD;
  4. Consent is obtained from relevant parties (e.g. building management office, the landlord of the premises) to modify the communal service and inside service; and
  5. A licensed plumber is engaged to design and install the inside service.

The application shall also satisfy the requirements of the Waterworks Ordinance, for example, the applicant is required to undertake the responsibility for the custody and maintenance of the inside service and to submit plumbing proposal for the inside service.

To assist tenants of sub-divided units in applying for installation of separate water meters, WSD has put in place measures to facilitate their compliance with the relevant requirement, such as allowing them to provide an email address instead of a formal mailing addresses. If tenants of the sub-divided units cannot find space in communal area for installation of the separate water meters, WSD will consider installing smart water meters within the sub-divided units for remote meter reading by WSD staff without entering into their units.

Procedure for application of separate water meter

  1. The applicants should submit Form WWO 542together with the corresponding plumbing proposals and the list of pipes and fittings intended to be installed (through WWO Form 1149 by a licensed plumber) for Water Authority's approval;
  2. Upon obtaining Water Authority's approval, the licensed plumber shall submit Form WWO 46 Part I & IIto apply for the permission of the Water Authority to proceed with the works under the approved plumbing proposal.  The plumbing works must NOT commence without the permission of the Water Authority in writing (i.e. The WWO 46 Part III is issued by WSD).
  3. Upon obtaining Water Authority's written approval, the licensed plumber can commence the plumbing works. Upon completion of the plumbing works, the licensed plumber should submit Form WWO 46 Part IV informing the Water Authority the completion of works. The Water Authority will arrange inspection accordingly;and
  4. Upon satisfactory inspection of the completed plumbing works, the Water Authority will inform the licensed plumber to collect water samples for testing. Upon receiving satisfactory testing results of water samples and the applicant has paid the fee for water meter installation and the deposit, the applicant will become a Registered Consumer. WSD will then effect water supply accordingly.

Pilot Scheme for Installation of Separate Water Meters for Sub-divided Flats (Premises with Sub-divided Units)

Some sub-divided flats in Hong Kong have separate plumbing systems for individual units and some even with metering instruments installed.  For these premises, the plumbing systems after undergoing minor alterations can provide meter positions suitable for installation of water meters of Water Supplies Department (WSD) as long as the landlords agree to undertake some obligations on matters related to meter installation and meter reading to Water Authority.   In light of this, we have formulated a pilot scheme with streamlined procedure to facilitate installation of WSD’s water meters for sub-divided flats having separate plumbing systems for individual units.  The details are as follows:-

Application Eligibility

The pilot scheme targets sub-divided flats meeting the following criteria:-

 Application Procedure

After approval, water supplied to individual sub-divided units will be charged according to the tariff structure for domestic consumers as stipulated in the Waterworks Ordinance.

For approved application, WSD will also send the applicant complimentary flow controllers to help enhance the water use efficiency of the flat (a pair of flow controllers for each sub-divided unit).

For any enquiries on the pilot scheme, please feel free to contact our help desk through hotline, fax or email as below.

Hotline:  3468 4963

Fax:          2520 3256

E-mail:     sdu_help_desk@wsd.gov.hk

*Service Hours: (Mondays to Fridays: 9:00a.m. - 5:30p.m. ; Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays: Closed)