Meter reading error, how to proceed?

I moved out of my old house at the start of the year to make it easier to sell. It sold and the completion date was on 4th of May 2018.
As I already had a property to move to I vacated my old house so that when it went on the market it would be easier to sell. It was 'vacant possession'.

I have just received the closing bill from Southern Water. The 4 months prior to the house being on the market and I was living at the house the bill shows I used 80 Litres a day. For the last four months when the house was empty (I would check it once a week) they say I used 370 Litres!!! :eek:

This means they are asking for a final payment of £74.96.

When I told southern water I was selling they said they would read the meter, no need for me to do this. And so (stupidly with hindsight) I didn't.

What I want to know is should I delay paying the bill whilst trying to get this resolved?

Will be ringing them ASAP tomorrow. I've been ill for a couple of weeks and today I finally well enough to read the letter and understand it.

Many thanks,
Richard e Collins

Comments

  • Shavuot
    Shavuot Posts: 125 Forumite
    edited 28 May 2018 at 10:16AM
    I moved out of my old house at the start of the year to make it easier to sell. It sold and the completion date was on 4th of May 2018.
    As I already had a property to move to I vacated my old house so that when it went on the market it would be easier to sell. It was 'vacant possession'.

    I have just received the closing bill from Southern Water. The 4 months prior to the house being on the market and I was living at the house the bill shows I used 80 Litres a day. For the last four months when the house was empty (I would check it once a week) they say I used 370 Litres!!! :eek:

    This means they are asking for a final payment of £74.96.

    When I told southern water I was selling they said they would read the meter, no need for me to do this. And so (stupidly with hindsight) I didn't.

    What I want to know is should I delay paying the bill whilst trying to get this resolved?

    Will be ringing them ASAP tomorrow. I've been ill for a couple of weeks and today I finally well enough to read the letter and understand it.

    Many thanks,
    Richard e Collins

    The meter reading will probably be based on the start meter reading given by your buyers.

    If you don't agree with the bill, don't pay it. I'm sure waiting another 24 hours (the majority of which they will be closed for) will worry the water supplier too much.

    Glad you are well now.
  • D_M_E
    D_M_E Posts: 3,008
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    370 litres is about a third of a cubic meter and a bill of about £75 for that would be extortionate.

    Does it include an amount for consumption for the period before you vacated?

    Does it include an amount for catching up with previous estimated low bills?

    Is it a bill for what they think you have used?

    At the end of the day, £75 is not very much to draw a line after selling the property, but you need to query with the supplier why the bill is so much for so little consumption.

    EDIT - 80l a day could indicate a small leak somewhere.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    edited 28 May 2018 at 1:08PM
    370 litres will cost about £1. If you mean 370 Cubic Metres then it would cost over £1,000.



    Standing charges for 4 months are under £30
  • Shavuot
    Shavuot Posts: 125 Forumite
    ...
    Will be ringing them ASAP tomorrow....

    How did you get on?
  • Hi, sorry for being a bit slow replying.

    I phone the water company and was lucky that the lady on the phone could see that it was clearly wrong. She has put a hold on the account so I'll not get any nasty letters. It's been referred to their meeting readings people as something has gone wrong. It took some digging on her part but she found the reading that had been done on the 4th May but it was not applied to my account. Not only that she could not find a new account for the house and the new owners. As for the bad reading, it looks like they did an estimate reading based on the last reading on the house in January and the last reading for the house I am now at. Mixing two unrelated meters. They were working of the postal address of the account and not the account number and address the account was for.

    She said I will be getting a revised bill. :)
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