Buying, selling and moving

What to expect when you buy a property

Water bills are always the property owner’s responsibility, whether it's your own home or an investment. Either way, the water will be turned on and ready for you or your tenants to use – we don’t turn it off between owners. We'll send you a welcome letter to help you manage your account.

You don't have to contact us to connect or disconnect your services
The account will be transferred automatically to the new owner as part of the settlement process.

Completing settlement 

When you appoint a conveyancer (unless you're doing your own conveyancing), they'll contact us to find out the current water bill for the property.

Water bills are made up of both fixed service charges and water usage charges. The fixed charges apply to the property and are billed in advance. When you settle, you’ll pay the previous owner any amount they’ve already paid in advance, as well as any payments currently due.  This generally clears any debts against the property related to Sydney Water.

Water usage is billed in arrears, and your conveyancer makes adjustments for these charges. Check under 'water usage adjustments' in your settlement papers for details. Your conveyancer may use our water usage calculators for these adjustments.

Moving in

When you or your tenants move in, the water will be ready to use, as we don't turn it off between owners. If you receive a bill in the previous owner’s name, please ignore it. You can expect a bill in your name a few weeks after settlement.

Read our policy Your responsibilities when connected to our services (358KB) to find out about your rights and obligations when you're connected to our systems.

If you get a bill in the previous owner's name
At this stage, bills are still in the seller's name. If you receive one of these, you can disregard it. We'll send a bill in your name once we receive details from the NSW Land Registry serviceThis may take a few weeks after settlement.

Receiving notice that you're the new owner

When the NSW Land Registry Services tells us you're the new owner, we'll send you a welcome letter to help you manage your account. You'll need to complete the new ownership form contained in the letter so we can easily contact you about important account and water supply information. 

If you're a pensioner, you can also apply for a pension rebate.

Getting your first bill

We generally send bills every quarter. We include some extra information with your first bill to help you understand it better. Find out more about your account. If you'd like us to send your bill to a managing agent or to a different address, you can update your mailing address details when you receive your welcome letter.

You may need to pay some water usage charges once you've moved in that weren't included in your settlement payment. If that applies, you'll see the charge on your first bill. Check under 'water usage adjustments' in your settlement papers for details. If you have any concerns about the charges on your new bill, contact your conveyancer or call us on 13 20 92.

Your payment will be due 21 days after we send the bill. This gives you plenty of time to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the charges. 

There are several ways you can pay, including online and automatic payment by direct debit. See our payment options and choose the one that suits you best. 

Water bills and tenants
Water bills are the owner's responsibility and remain in their name, even if the property's rented out. Charges for water use may be passed on to tenants if that's in the rental agreement, but we can't provide tenants with copies of water bills. 

Understanding our prices

The prices you pay depend on the type of property you have and the services available in your area. Prices are adjusted for the rate of inflation on 1 July each year as set out in the current pricing determination.

For a home, you generally pay:

  • fixed charges for being connected to our networks such as water, wastewater and stormwater
  • usage charges for the water you use. 

Find out more about our prices.

Selling your property

The main thing you need to know when you're selling is that you don't need to disconnectthe water supply. Your conveyancer typically gets a conveyancing certificate from us that lists any outstanding charges on a property. This helps the buyer and seller pay the correct amount when a property is sold. Ask your conveyancer how water use will be determined at settlement.

If you receive a bill after your property has settled, please return it to us and tell us you've sold the property.

Not using a solicitor?
If you're not using a solicitor or conveyancer, you can buy a conveyancing certificate online from a Property Link broker and use our water usage calculator to determine the water usage adjustment. Find out how much a conveyancing certificate costs under prices for other services.