Big water problems! £1100 bill!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
5 replies 866 views
ValleysladValleyslad Forumite
6 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
Hi there,

Basically me and my housemates are in a tight spot!

We're students, and we've lived in this house for 2 years - never receiving a water bill we assumed our landlord paid it (water included is very common for student accommodation) BUT today we've received a bill, for 2 years of water, equating to £1100!

Firstly, I know it's two years, but doesn't £45 a month for water seem a little steep?! We don't have a dishwasher and never use the hose, I'm assuming we're not metered as we haven't had a visit.

Secondly, that's £335ish each, to pay upfront now it says, we're students, we simply can't afford to pay it!

One of my housemates says he'll flat out not pay it, as its been sprung on us like this, and 'they can't exactly switch it off', but I however am much less confident, especially as some how the bill is in my name!

We've had a few people before saying the house was listed as uninhibited so we're assuming that's why they've not sent us bills.

Anyone have any advise?

Ciaran.

Replies

  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    The bill will say if you are metered or not; it will state xx cubic metres @yyy pence for water and zzz pence for sewerage. + standing charges.

    If you are not metered it will state the Rateable Value(RV) and xx pence per £1 of RV and yy pence per £1RV for sewerage.

    I suspect it is not metered.

    The water company have no idea if the house is occupied or not. You or the landlord should have informed the water company when you moved in.

    So 'someone' is liable for the bill. Why is the bill in your name if you thought the landlord was responsible? Who gave the water company your name?

    I suggest you get the bill paid and if your housemates won't contribute, take them to the small claims court.

    If you don't pay, the debt will be passed to a Debt Collection Agency(DCA) and will certainly affect your credit record, and also those of your flatmates(if you succeed in getting your name removed from bill) as you are all 'jointly and severally liable' for the bill. That means that they can pursue anyone for ALL the debt.

    Under new legislation the landlord could also be held 'jointly and severally liable' for the bill. I don't know if that would be retrospective to the start of your occupancy, or even if the law is yet in force.

    http://www.thelettingpartnership.co.uk/news/new_law_on_water_billing/







    I
  • edited 24 April 2013 at 2:27PM
    macmanmacman Forumite
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    edited 24 April 2013 at 2:27PM
    Student houses still pay water bills, whether 'uninhibited' or not (sounds like fun). Your STA should make it quite clear-unless it says water is included in your rent, then it is not. You are all as occupiers jointly and severally liable for the whole bill.
    Since the meter is usually beneath the public pavement, no 'visit' is necessary to read it.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • deanosdeanos Forumite
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    macman wrote: »
    You are all as occupiers jointly and severally liable for the whole bill.
    .

    the person named on the bill will be the person the water co will chase not the others
  • macmanmacman Forumite
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    deanos wrote: »
    the person named on the bill will be the person the water co will chase not the others

    But since they never bothered to register, none of their names will have been on the account. The water co will have obtained names from whatever sources it can (primarily from the LL) and come after all or any of them-they're not bothered who pays, since as occupiers they are all liable.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • edited 25 April 2013 at 1:00PM
    tyllwydtyllwyd Forumite
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    edited 25 April 2013 at 1:00PM
    Is the water supply metered? Ours isn't, and our annual bill for unmetered water is about £520, so £1100 over two years sounds about right. You should be able to check by going to the website for your water authority.

    Also - when you say you've had a bill covering two years, do you mean 2011/12 and 2012/13, or does it cover last year (2012/13) and the year we are currently in (2013/14)?

    BTW Have you asked about the possibility of spreading the cost over several months rather than paying it all in one go? It's worth asking, they might well agree.
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