Consistently high water bills

jg22
jg22 Posts: 7 Forumite
edited 31 March 2017 at 4:32PM in Water bills
Hi, I would like some help with the below please.

The past few water bills that have covered around an 7.5 month period have each been very high (flat with 2 occupants, one bathroom, no dish washer, no excessive use whatsoever), one was £195 and then the next was £170, so £365 for 4 months between two people, and then the latest is £335 (these are estimates, although pretty accurate, i am at work) for 3 months. Before that, we had been reluctant to pay ones nearer £150 but the more recent ones have been ridiculous.

When we first questioned how high they were the woman at the property management company said herself they had had a number of calls regarding the bills, but they have assured us the amounts are correct after we had requested they check the meter. We've had a plumber round to check for any possible leaks and none have been found anywhere.

The property management company have now written to us to tell us that they are moving over our account to United Utilities and urged us to pay any remaining balance, which we will not be doing. I have also spoken to a person in the lift who informed me their next door neighbours moved out due to the water bills, so it is not just us.

Anyway, any suggestions welcome, there is absolutely no chance we have used as much water as the bills suggest, what steps should we take?

Ta.

edit: had to make a few amendments to original post.
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Comments

  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,568
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    Are you on a meter and have you read it yourself.

    You can't just assume that you haven't used much unless you have evidence of meter readings - preferably ones done by yourself rather than other people. Is the property management company putting a mark up on the bills. Who do you pay.

    If you are on a meter then you are probably better off having control over your own bills and checking your own meters. You can then determine whether there's a problem, see when and how much you use and maybe do something about it as you will notice when your consumption varies.

    It does however require you to put a bit of effort into reading your meters regularly - at least once a month - and recording the readings.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • Robin9
    Robin9 Posts: 11,955
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    I suspect there there is just one meter for the whole block of flats and you are paying a share. Who are you paying - the ware company or the management company?

    Others may know - can a management company add a mark up for water ?
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    Robin9 wrote: »
    I suspect there there is just one meter for the whole block of flats and you are paying a share. Who are you paying - the ware company or the management company?

    Others may know - can a management company add a mark up for water ?

    Unless there are individual meters in each flat, there will be one meter for the whole block.

    No, they cannot re-sell water at a profit.

    http://www.ofwat.gov.uk/households/your-water-bill/waterresale/

    I suppose it is possible that there is a big leak between the meter and the building, but that is the job of the management company to get fixed.
  • Water leak. Probably the toilet!

    Turn off your stop !!!! overnight, and do not use toilet or other water. Take reading Wake up in morning and switch on again. If there is an in rush of water, you have a leak. Get this fixed and you should be entitled to a rebate if you can prove you had a leak and fixed it. Each water bored is different about this.
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,949
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    How can the management company be changing suppliers? Unless you are in Scotland, there is no choice for residential customers. Or is the whole block billed as a business account?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Norman_Castle
    Norman_Castle Posts: 11,871
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    As the op vanished 16 days ago, 4 minutes after leaving their only post it seems pointless replying as they are clearly not interested in the replies.
  • jg22
    jg22 Posts: 7 Forumite
    Sorry, I have been away since the first post.

    In response to the replies (thanks for taking the time, those of you):

    - We haven't read the meter, no, the meter wasn't located within the flat, so I assume it is one meter for the building.

    - We pay the property management company (or we did, it will now be United Utilities)
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,568
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    You'd better find your meter then so you know what you are using and to get a refence reading for when you start paying UU otherwise you could end up pay for someone else
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • jg22
    jg22 Posts: 7 Forumite
    Once UU were in charge of the water, the bill - unsurprisingly - dropped considerably.

    Our last bill was from UU before we moved flats, was £60 for two months, compared to nearly £200 before that which was being charged by the property management company.

    We are now being chased by a debt collection company - by phone - regarding the previous bills.

    We have all paperwork regarding all bills, what's the best step to take as we refuse to pay the original bills but obviously want to avoid being chased by the debt comp.

    Thank you.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    jg22 wrote: »
    Once UU were in charge of the water, the bill - unsurprisingly - dropped considerably.

    Our last bill was from UU before we moved flats, was £60 for two months, compared to nearly £200 before that which was being charged by the property management company.

    We are now being chased by a debt collection company - by phone - regarding the previous bills.

    We have all paperwork regarding all bills, what's the best step to take as we refuse to pay the original bills but obviously want to avoid being chased by the debt comp.

    Thank you.

    The Debt Collection Agency(DCA) will 'chase' regardless of the merits of the case - they are only interested in getting money.

    You could contact the Consumer council for Water https://www.ccwater.org.uk/households/ to see if they can help.
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