Tenants check your water bill!

Well I wanted to warn people who are innocent renters out there, as I have been. When I moved into this rented property back in 2003 I was told by my landlady that this property has low water rates and not to worry about it. When I received my first water bill back then I was shocked how low it was and still had been. I questioned the bills with united utilities on a few occasions, why its so low and they said its just because I am on the end house. Well anyway my recent bill said they have introduced managing your account online and to register on the website. I went to their website and started filling in the details, however the proceed button wouldn't work for me, it was flashing up not valid account number. So of course I phoned up united utilities asked "why can I not register my account online?, it tells me it's not valid account number". Well it turns out I have been living in a property registered as a business and its been this way since 1986!. So from paying something like £6 month to now £35 a month will be a large chunk taken from finances. I asked the big question "How would United Utilities of found out if I had not of flagged up this problem with trying to register online?", she was quite honest with me and said "We wouldn't of known until either a meter was fitted at the property or customer brought this to our attention". So check your bills!. They had to close my account since they cannot change from a business account to resident account and start from fresh. They cannot force you to backdate since it is their error for not checking the property when a new tenant moves in and creates a new account. The system they use assume its same status as the last person who moved in, so if your previous tenant was business registered the next person who moves in is also business registered automatically. Clearly something needs fixing on their system!


  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,949
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    No 'system' can know when a property changes from business to residential or vice versa (it's the property that is classified, not the occupier). Your LL was entirely responsible for informing UU when the property became residential.
    How did you think that any property could only be charged £72pa for water?!
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Like I already said I did not know why I was being charged that low amount, hence why I also wrote above that I phoned and contacted them about it, they told me its because I was at the end of the street and it tends to be lower for the end terrace. They didn't ask if I was business or residential user at the time and would of seem strange for them to even ask considering the number I call is for residential customers. Was I meant to question the UU further? Like I said in first post, there is clearly a flaw in their new accounts system if there has been multiple tenants at this property and the utilities company fail to ask the question are you business or residential customer upon opening an account. Some reason the system decided even though I moved in property as a new tenant it was marked as business, its never been anything other than a house for residential living. Only reason I posted was to let others check their bills because I noticed on my bills, it does not state business or residential tariffs so you really are oblivious, until you try to register on their website to use online account system. Anyway that's all :)
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,949
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Your 'adviser' needs retraining (or just firing) if they told you that 'end houses' were cheaper. Why on earth would an EOT property use less water than a mid terrace?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • United utilities are idiots.

    When we moved into our new build house we were getting billed for someone else's water use, I knew because the serial number on the meter did not match the one stated on the bill.

    Also the other family were using TONS less water than us.

    I told them and they just could not seem to sort it. (Which I wasn't too bothered about because we were paying less than we should have been)

    I calculated what our bills should have been and put that money aside every month because I knew that they'd suddenly realise the error and want the whole amount.

    They just seemed utterly incapable of solving the problem. It was actually quite funny.

    Eventually they did realise the error (I often wonder if someone else had been getting billed for our high usage) and sent a highly threatening letter about what they'd calculated we really did owe (which was correct). No apology for their mistake that I had kindly pointed out to them months previously.

    I paid it. But I also sent a snarky email to their customer services for their shocking behaviour towards a model customer. Still no apology.

    As I said, idiots, of the highest order.
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