There is often a time lag between when you become the new owner of a property, and when Urban Utilities is formally notified of this change of ownership by the Department of Resources. As a result, the bill may have been sent to the previous owner.

When we receive formal notification from the Department of Resources that you are the new owner of the property, we will issue you a bill for the period that you have owned it. As the new owner of the property, you are responsible for paying this bill, but you should check your property settlement papers to ensure you have been credited for the water supply and sewerage charges incurred by the previous owner. Your conveyancer or solicitor is responsible for ensuring this has occurred, and you should contact them if you have any questions.

Urban Utilities is the sole water and wastewater service provider to customers in Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Somerset Council areas. Ratepayers in these regions receive a water and wastewater account from Urban Utilities which is separate to their Council Rate account.

We receive change of ownership information, including postal address information, from Titles Queensland. This notification process can take 3-12 weeks from the time the settlement paperwork is lodged with them. We will create a new account for a new owner based on this title information. Once we have been notified about the change of ownership, we’ll send the you a letter confirming the account activation.

If you are buying or selling a property, please make sure your solicitor requests a special meter reading from Urban Utilities. This enables your solicitor to identify and calculate all the water usage and access charges incurred by the previous owner up to the date of settlement. This ensures the purchase price of the property is adjusted according to these charges at the time of settlement.

When you receive your bill for your new property, it may still include the water usage and access charges of the previous owner (depending on when in the billing cycle you purchased the property). You will be required to pay these charges as you have already been reimbursed for the previous owner’s charges in the settlement process as outlined above.

Because water and sewerage charges stay with the land, any outstanding charges become the responsibility of the new owner at the date of settlement. This is the case whether you or the previous owner used the services charged for on the first bill.

This is usually adjusted at settlement, meaning the price you paid for the property is reduced to cover the seller's portion of our charges.  When you purchased this property, it's likely your solicitor or conveyancer arranged a 'special water meter reading' to identify any charges owed by the previous owner.

You can confirm this on the property settlement paperwork provided by your solicitor or conveyancer, or by contacting them directly.