Double water bill

akkers
akkers Posts: 259
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There was a house that was converted to 2 flats a long time ago. About 10 yrs ago the property went on sale and was bought by a friend of mine. He converted it back to a single house and started to live there. He asked the council to re-evaluate it as single property, the council did that and he started paying single-property council tax.
However, when he went to Yorkshire Water (YW) and told them it was a single property they would not have it. He showed them the council tax valuation but no, YW would not budge. They told him that having a water meter installed was the only relief he could get.
So my friend has been paying 2 sets of water bills for one property, even though its a single property like the neighbouring houses, and there is only one water supply.
What is the procedure for escalating this issue apart from taking legal action?
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  • System
    System Posts: 178,075
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    akkers wrote: »
    What is the procedure for escalating this issue apart from taking legal action?


    https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/regulated-companies/investigations/making-a-complaint/
  • antrobus
    antrobus Posts: 17,386 Forumite
    Non-metered water charges are based on rateable value, Nothing to do with "council tax valuation" as in band,

    It is possible that the rateable value of a single house would be the same as the combined total for the two flats,,
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,955
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    It's effectively now a new single property, so the water authority are fully entitled to insist on a metered supply.
    It might cost more or less, but it won't be twice the cost of a supply based on RV.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • D_M_E
    D_M_E Posts: 3,008
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    Sounds like the property still has 2 water meters - one of them should have been removed when the conversion back to a single dwelling was done and this is the problem, both meters are still feeding the property.
  • Dobbibill
    Dobbibill Posts: 4,133
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    I've moved this thread to the 'water bills' section of the Energy board.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Budgeting & Bank Accounts, Credit Cards, Credit File & Ratings and Energy boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

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  • akkers
    akkers Posts: 259
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    No the property does not have any water meters. It is the same size and similar to other properties in the street. Other people are paying single water bill (around £450) but they are sending 2 bills for this property.
    How can that be justified?
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    akkers wrote: »
    No the property does not have any water meters. It is the same size and similar to other properties in the street. Other people are paying single water bill (around £450) but they are sending 2 bills for this property.
    How can that be justified?


    It is justified by The Water Act.



    When there are any 'substantial changes' to a property the water company can insist on a water meter being fitted.


    If it was converted to 2 flats after April 1990 it should have had a meter fitted at that time. Certainly when it was converted back to a single property a meter should have been fitted.


    Non water metered bills are based on the Rateable Value(RV) of the property. This was the notional rent it could command as long ago as 1973 when the majority of RV assessments were made. As said above any improvements to the property that could have made it command a higher rent i.e. new bathroom/kitchen/garage/central heating should have been declared pre 1990 for a higher RV to be awarded, or a post 1990 a meter fitted.


    When many millions of properties have had a meter compulsorily installed on change of ownership, I personally cannot see any justification for the property to revert to a meaningless RV that would have been awarded at least 28 years ago and possibly as long as 45 years ago.
  • akkers
    akkers Posts: 259
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    ...even though most other properties in the street are without meters? Makes it kind of unfair!
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,955
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    akkers wrote: »
    ...even though most other properties in the street are without meters? Makes it kind of unfair!

    But most other properties in the street have not undergone conversion since 1990.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • D_M_E
    D_M_E Posts: 3,008
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    Maybe your solution is to get a water meter fitted., but how do you know meters have not been fitted somewhere, given the conversions?

    Have you tried a written complaint to the water company and writing to your MP and complaining to Ofwatt?
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