Previously removed water meter - now what?

in Water bills
1 reply 1.6K views
I purchased a property about a year ago that at one time was split between being a Doctor's surgery and living accommodation. As I am doing some renovations and converting it back to a regular house (a few internal alterations), I rang up Severn Trent Water when I bought the property to inform that it is unoccupied so that I do not receive any bills.

Recently, I rang up to ask about lead water pipe replacement and they informed me that there is a water meter at the property. I have checked and cannot find one. The customer service advisor then checked their records and said that the bills (prior to me purchasing) were estimates for some years.

I can only assume that the previous owners removed the water meter when the Doctors surgery part closed down, however, where does this leave me with Severn Trent Water? I do not want a water meter for when I live there but can they 'force' me to have one as there was one there previously (even though it has been removed at some point in the past)?


  • edited 24 June 2015 at 3:52PM
    CardewCardew Forumite
    29K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    edited 24 June 2015 at 3:52PM
    I do not want a water meter for when I live there but can they 'force' me to have one as there was one there previously
    Firstly all water companies are empowered under the Water Act(of Parliament) to compulsorily fit a meter for ALL new occupants - owner or tenant.

    Some companies enforce this provision, others don't.

    Secondly your property would/should have had a single Rateable Value(RV) for the combined property, or a separate RV for the domestic accommodation and another RV for the surgery. Those RVs are invalid once a meter was fitted and so metering is the sole option.

    It is also pertinent to point out that the water company/council probably have no record of the original RV(s). There is now no mechanism or law under which a council can reassess RV values, that ceased in April 1990. Even if they had a record of the RV, under the Water Act the water company do not have the discretion to revert back to RV charges once there is a new occupant and a meter has been fitted.

    Thirdly any alterations to a property with a RV renders the that RV invalid and a meter should be fitted.

    So I can see no way that you can avoid having a meter fitted, and hence pay for what you use!

    Technically the property is not unoccupied if people are working on converting it and using any water.(toilets, cleaning, mixing cement etc)
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