Water Rates

I'm a tenant and moved from a 2 bedroomed house with a meter to a 2 bedroomed flat without a water meter. My water rates bill has almost trebled as a result.


The flat is one of twenty in a block and run by a management company - the landlords/owners are billed by dividing the overall water useage/rates by the number of flats. I know for a fact that the last year's bill for each flat was £260 in total. My agent/landlord insist I pay £30 a month in addition to my rent to cover these costs - so I'm paying £360. (This also does not include the fact that each flat is also entitled to a £50 Government Subsidy Reduction each year for being in an area of high tourism ie South West Water)


The landlord is therefore making a profit of at least £100 this year by reselling/charging his water to me at a higher rate. I am VERY careful with water useage and there is only myself in this flat so it is kept to an absolute minimum.


I don't think this is fair but am afraid to rock the boat too much in case I'm given notice. What can/should I do?

Comments

  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
    Welcome to the forum.



    You need to read this Ofwat publication on reselling of water, essentially the landlord can only charge a small administration fee.:


    https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/nonhouseholds/reselling-water/ofwat-household-consumers-water-resale-calculating-water-resale-prices-calculating-water-resale/


    You need also to look at your rental agreement about water charges. If individual flats are not metered, there is little alternative but to charge all flats the same.


    Given that the South West have by far the highest charges in UK, £360 pa is low. https://www.southwestwater.co.uk/globalassets/document-repository/charges/sww-household-charges-scheme-summary-2018-19.pdf


    If you are certain that the Landlord is making excessive profits you can report them, but you would be better to get everyone to complain.
  • Thanks for that information Cardew ... I had researched and saw that the landlord could charge an admin fee but £100 admin fee on the £260 water rates that he pays seems excessive to me.


    The management company is billed for the entire building as a whole and the £260 is per flat (irrespective of the number of people living in each one). Most of them are privately owned with a few rented out so those paying just £260 and owners will be happy with that figure and so no cause for complaining.


    I just feel as a tenant that I'm being taken advantage of here by the landlord to make some profit.


    Given I'm a good tenant and having only been here since January with numerous issues that required me being in attendance at the flat and available for workmen etc over that period of time I have gone above and beyond being accommodating to make things easier for the landlord and his agent - taking up many, many hours of my own time for free, that it's a bit rich to be treated like this.


    I realise it's low for this area, however, I was in SWW area previously on a meter and was paying just over £30 per quarter so as an eco user it's quite an increase personally.


    I shall have to carefully consider my options but thank you for the links.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
    Unless individual flats are metered, the only solution is to charge a flat rate for each flat, and there will be 'winners' and 'losers'.


    If you tried to estimate, some would argue they are away from the flat a lot, kid/no kids, showers/baths etc etc.
  • Shavuot
    Shavuot Posts: 125 Forumite
    pixie2018 wrote: »
    I'm a tenant and moved from a 2 bedroomed house with a meter to a 2 bedroomed flat without a water meter. My water rates bill has almost trebled as a result.


    The flat is one of twenty in a block and run by a management company - the landlords/owners are billed by dividing the overall water useage/rates by the number of flats. I know for a fact that the last year's bill for each flat was £260 in total. My agent/landlord insist I pay £30 a month in addition to my rent to cover these costs - so I'm paying £360. (This also does not include the fact that each flat is also entitled to a £50 Government Subsidy Reduction each year for being in an area of high tourism ie South West Water)


    The landlord is therefore making a profit of at least £100 this year by reselling/charging his water to me at a higher rate. I am VERY careful with water useage and there is only myself in this flat so it is kept to an absolute minimum.


    I don't think this is fair but am afraid to rock the boat too much in case I'm given notice. What can/should I do?

    You are right to be very cautious about rocking the boat.

    Revenge/retaliatory evictions are rampant, particularly where unscrupulous landlords/agents are involved.

    The government introduced legislation back in 2015 in an attempt to prevent this, but it the legislation has spectaculary failed
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/38795177/revenge-eviction-law-not-working

    It only applies in certain circumstances, and even then landlords ignore it.

    I'm not sure it applies to your situation anyway - it would appear to relate to faults with the property, as opposed to disagreements with the landlord/agent

    Ironically, the same legislation actually made it easier for landords to evict in some circumstances. .. so watch out!

    Probably best to find somewhere in your own time you are happy with, and then give the Spanish Archer to the landlord/agent yourself :)
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