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Land lord is charging for water from HIS leaking pipe

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
23 replies 7.7K views
QuackNutsQuackNuts Forumite
44 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
I've had County Court Claim papers for invoices where the land lord has charged me for water from his leaking pipe. He has known about this leak for over 6 months. We have paid for what we have used. However, the land lord has said that our meter is now at the beginning of this leaking pipe (which also serves other properties of his) and that we now own the pipe and we should fix it. :rotfl:
We have explained to him that we will pay for the water we use as per the meter in our building as we have for the last 34 years but he refuses to repair the pipe and has point blankly refused any arbitration. The water that is being wasted is quite considerable (about 23 cubic meters/day) so we have concerns for the damage this leak is causing, any land lord in their right mind would get this fixed ASAP!
So please could anybody could point is in the right direction to compile our defence for the court? Any pointers or related cases would be greatly appreciated. :)
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  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
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    Contact the Consumer Council for Water https://www.ccwater.org.uk/households/
  • QuackNutsQuackNuts Forumite
    44 posts
    Thanks for the link Cardew. Unfortunately they can only explain the terms and conditions of the Water Resale Order which led me to this https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/prs_lft_guidetowresale.pdf It seems that it's the individual who is being wronged that has to enforce the Water Resale Order by going to court themselves :(

    It did point out that the reseller can't charge more than what they are paying so that might be another arrow to the bow.:)
  • dogshomedogshome Forumite
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    The usual situation is that the Water Co are responsible for water leaks pre the meter.
    However - there are occasions were the building developers installed the pipework to service the dwellings, and although each final user has a Water Co. meter, the Water Co regard the buildings water pipework as 'Private' once it crosses the street boundary.

    Thus this pipework falls into same category as the roof - If it's broke the owner fixes it.
    Interesting that the the leak is measured at 23 cm3 a day, it suggests that there is a meter monitoring every drop of water into the site
  • QuackNutsQuackNuts Forumite
    44 posts
    23 cubic metres!! We would normally use that over 3 months. The pipe is on his land, he gives us a bill stating previous and current readings but the last two bills he's used his meter readings at the beginning of the leaky pipe rather than the readings from our meter for what we have used as he should have done. If he wanted us to own the pipe surely there'd be a whole load of paperwork regarding the ownership change but there has been no such paperwork..?
  • dogshomedogshome Forumite
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    OK
    It seems the set-up is that the L/lord has a Water Co.meter measuring all water into the site, and private W/meters are installed to measure the water use of each dwelling so the L/lord can produce individual bills.

    1st thing to do is read your lease agreement - Chances are that measuring and payment for water is gone into in some detail and the L/lords change of measure is outside the terms.

    With County Court paperwork issued your best bet is to consult a solicitor, but failing that, be prepared to attend the court with all your ducks in a row
    Lease details - Photos of the leak - Proof that it is on the supply side of your meter - Copies of Current and Previous water bills

    WIN/LOSE ?
    Whatever the final result is with this battle, it's my opinion you should be looking to move
    If you win you will have a Landlord with a severely dented ego who'll be looking for revenge - If the L/lord wins, there is no knowing what other charges he'll decide you are responsible for.
  • PagettPagett Forumite
    87 posts
    QuackNuts wrote: »
    I've had County Court Claim papers for invoices where the land lord has charged me for water from his leaking pipe. He has known about this leak for over 6 months. We have paid for what we have used. However, the land lord has said that our meter is now at the beginning of this leaking pipe (which also serves other properties of his) and that we now own the pipe and we should fix it. :rotfl:
    We have explained to him that we will pay for the water we use as per the meter in our building as we have for the last 34 years but he refuses to repair the pipe and has point blankly refused any arbitration. The water that is being wasted is quite considerable (about 23 cubic meters/day) so we have concerns for the damage this leak is causing, any land lord in their right mind would get this fixed ASAP!
    So please could anybody could point is in the right direction to compile our defence for the court? Any pointers or related cases would be greatly appreciated. :)

    If this is your defence, then put it verbatim on the appropriate form.

    The thing with the county court (small claims) is that they expect you to act in person; they understand you are not a lawyer, and so you are not expected to cite legal arguement or case law in your response. The judge will look at your defence and apply his expert legal mind to which laws apply to your defence.

    Just one other thing - if you are concerned about the leaking water damaging your own property, or spoiling your enjoyment of the tenancy, then consider a counter claim as well.
    If you are only concerned about damage to the landlord's own property, do not mention it as it just muddy's the water. I think you've enough to worry over, without worrying about what effect it may have on the landlord's own property.
  • QuackNutsQuackNuts Forumite
    44 posts
    He certainly has spoilt our enjoyment of the property with this and many other things. How is such an effect quantified?
  • dogshomedogshome Forumite
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    Further thoughts

    The L/Lord issues invoices, albeit based on incorrect data, which you have not paid.
    His application to the court is based purely on the monetry value of the debts listed on those bills, and the fact is that you do owe him some money for the periods he has billed..

    Strongly suggest that you send the L/lord a cheque with a covering letter by Royal Mail, ( get proof of post certificate), showing how you have worked out the the amount sent.
    This puts the Landlord in the position of haveing to prove to the court - if it gets that far - that his change of billing system is legally justified
  • QuackNutsQuackNuts Forumite
    44 posts
    We have paid for the water we have used, given him photos of our meter as he has not sent his man to read them in the usual manner and explained we've paid for the water we use. He wrote back saying that we shouldn't alter his invoices - which actually makes a nice change because normally he just ignores all our letters.
  • dogshomedogshome Forumite
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    Add this evidence of payments made to all the paperwork you take to court, what date has been set for the hearing?
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