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  • FIRST POST
    • Jennywren3
    • By Jennywren3 6th Aug 17, 10:00 PM
    • 73Posts
    • 32Thanks
    Jennywren3
    Water Bill Criteria
    • #1
    • 6th Aug 17, 10:00 PM
    Water Bill Criteria 6th Aug 17 at 10:00 PM
    Stupidly I didn't consider a water meter until recently.
    I have been a being a widow for the past 3 years and previously had no responsibility for the bills, I hadn't thought of it
    Just switched now
    My bill has been 61 pounds a month has now dropped to 21 pounds
    I am trying to find out what criteria has been used to decide my previous monthly Direct Debit.
    I have been told it was the old rateable value or how much the house would rent for
    The valuation office dont have the criteria, neither does the Waterboard or Cardiff Council.
    Each organisation says the other one has it.
    I am asking, as I cant figure out why my sister who lives in the most exclusive part of Cardiff in a five bed three bath property in half an acre of land, pays 47 pounds a month, whilst my house is a semi with one bathroom with just a small plot We both has a CF14 post code
    Really Cross

    Is there an organisation I can complain to

    Cant get any answers
Page 1
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 7th Aug 17, 9:17 AM
    • 27,009 Posts
    • 13,133 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 17, 9:17 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 17, 9:17 AM
    The Rateable Value(RV) on which your water charges were based ceased to be the basis for 'local taxation' in April 1990(for domestic properties) It was replaced by the Poll Tax and then the present Council Tax.

    As you say the RV was based on a notional rent the property would fetch at the last valuation; which for most properties would be 1973 or before 1990 if they were built after 1973.

    It is important to note that the RV is nothing to do with Council Tax bands.

    The criteria for RV assessment was something of a lottery. It depended on many factors, e.g. location, services, modernisation of property(kitchen bathroom, CH etc) garage.

    It might have been that your sisters house at the time of assessment was unmodernised(by 1973 standards) and has since been modernised or extended. I am aware of huge mansions that are now Band H for Council Tax that have a lower RV than a 2 bed semi Band A semi in the same area. The mansion could have been derelict in 1973 and thus impossible to rent.

    Anyway the bottom line is there is no mechanism for altering an RV that could have been awarded over 40 years ago. Most councils are not aware of the RV of properties, and even if they were aware there is no way they can change the RV. The water companies also cannot alter an RV.

    You can find out the RV of both properties by looking at the old water bills(before metering) It is also possible that your sister has claimed relief from the Surface Water Drainage charge. Are you paying it on your metered bill? and were you paying it on your RV based bill?
    Last edited by Cardew; 07-08-2017 at 10:14 AM.
    • footyguy
    • By footyguy 7th Aug 17, 10:33 AM
    • 3,815 Posts
    • 1,518 Thanks
    footyguy
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 17, 10:33 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 17, 10:33 AM
    Stupidly I didn't consider a water meter until recently.
    I have been a being a widow for the past 3 years and previously had no responsibility for the bills, I hadn't thought of it
    Just switched now
    My bill has been 61 pounds a month has now dropped to 21 pounds
    I am trying to find out what criteria has been used to decide my previous monthly Direct Debit.
    I have been told it was the old rateable value or how much the house would rent for
    The valuation office dont have the criteria, neither does the Waterboard or Cardiff Council.
    Each organisation says the other one has it.
    I am asking, as I cant figure out why my sister who lives in the most exclusive part of Cardiff in a five bed three bath property in half an acre of land, pays 47 pounds a month, whilst my house is a semi with one bathroom with just a small plot We both has a CF14 post code
    Really Cross

    Is there an organisation I can complain to

    Cant get any answers
    Originally posted by Jennywren3
    The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is responsible for setting the rateable value of non-domestic properties.

    It was the District Valuer’s office of the Inland Revenue that set the vateable value of domestic properties. They were last fully updated in 1973 as domestic Rates have since been replaced by the Community Charge and then the Council Tax - neither of which is based on the rataeble value.

    Obviously many things can change significantly in 50 years. e.g. large houses which were out of fashion back then (often because of the difficulty in heating what many had were high ceilings and the general lack of insulation)
    Desireable areas change too. 50 years ago, no one wanted to live in Docklands area of London - see how that has changed today

    More information about rateable values and how they are used by water companies today can be found here:
    https://www.waterplc.com/userfiles/file/Rateable%20Value%20.pdf
    Last edited by footyguy; 07-08-2017 at 10:42 AM.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 23rd Aug 17, 3:31 PM
    • 8,511 Posts
    • 5,043 Thanks
    teddysmum
    • #4
    • 23rd Aug 17, 3:31 PM
    • #4
    • 23rd Aug 17, 3:31 PM
    The higher direct debit amount was worked out to cover the already calculated annual bill, based on rateable value and the current rates for clean ,used and surface water.

    The lower value is an estimate to cover your expected bill using the metered amounts and rates. This figure may or may not cover the bill, so at your first actual reading they will either sort out a lower or higher rate.

    There will always be some difference at reading time as there is no way of knowing how much water you will use; just an estimate based on what you tell them you use water for , but circumstances can change , so affecting your water usage (eg long term visitors, a large clean up job, someone leaves home).

    We have held off for ages, as I'd wrongly assumed that the charge for sewage and run off was fixed, so the usage amount had a small effect on the total cost, but going on figures for the first few weeks ,we will save (don't know how much as we haven't had a reading ,yet.).
    • spiro
    • By spiro 2nd Sep 17, 2:11 PM
    • 5,848 Posts
    • 2,811 Thanks
    spiro
    • #5
    • 2nd Sep 17, 2:11 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Sep 17, 2:11 PM
    With a water meter the size our your house has no bearing on the bill, it's all down to how much water you use.
    As has been said the first year on a meter they will only estimate, as time progresses they will know the read consumption and set the DD accordingly.
    IT Consultant in the utilities industry specialising in the retail electricity market.

    4 Credit Card and 1 Loan PPI claims settled for £26k, 1 rejected (Opus).
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