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deemed usage dispute

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
2 replies 3.9K views
jrlinetonjrlineton Forumite
1 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
Hi, I very much hope you can help with a big problem with a water company I have run in to.

Lived with my parent and looked after him as he was housebound, he had to go into hospital in Aug 17. he remained there until late october 18 and was then transferred to a council run care home for rehabilitation care with a view to returning home with a care package. The stay at the care home lasted longer than expected but returned home for 6 days in early March 18. he was ill and returned to hospital before returning again in later march 18, unfortunately this was a failed discharge and on the same day he had to be taken back into hospital. He remained in hospital for 3 months. I asked the council social services what was the plans for his care and they said it may be that he would return home if he did not get CHC funding or stay in the care home if he did. The CHC assessment was scheduled for late july but did not happen in fact until late Aug 18. he was awarded chc funding in late aug 18 and stayed there until his untimely passing. In late October 18 following proceedings at the court of protection a panel deputy took over his financial affairs. Just before this I went and was living abroad as it seemd likely that the deputies would sell his house and this was my best interest course of action in the circumstances. In January 19 the deputies told the water company that he had left the property in oct 17 and the water company back billed me for water charges. Bills i did not get until I returned to the property after my parent's passing in June 19.

I raised a formal complaint with the and the water company demanded that I provide proof of residence elsewhere. I do not want the water company to have information concerning my whereabouts for this period. Raised the matter with CCwater and provided an insurance document from the deputies in which it stated that I would stay in the house for a few days at a time when I returned to the UK but for no longer than a week. the water company are refusing to accept this as proof that I was not living at the address. They have refused to acknowledge or even process my statements in terms of my mothers movements and claim that he was resident until he moved permanently into the 2nd care home. My position is that at best my mother ceased to live at the property in august 18 and that the insurance document from the deputies as evidence.

I have learning disabilities and the water company are refusing to extend deadlines for continuing recovery action. From my parent's passing I am responsible for the water bills and have asked the water company to split the bills into two - the period in dispute and the period I have stated that I am responsible for so that the period I am responsible for can be dealt with and settled and not be affected by the disputed period. they refuse to do this and my position is that it is unreasonable and I will not make payment until they separate out things.

CCwater have said they cannot challenge the water company without evidence that I was living elsewhere. I find it objectionable in extremis that the water company can act in this way and demand information they have no entitlement to on the basis of information from the deputies that is now contradicted by the insurance documents from the deputies. CCwater are not being helpful.

Please advise on what to do. How much evidence do water companies have to have for deemed usage? with these facts does the water company have a case at all.


  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
    7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    jrlineton wrote: »
    ...................... In January 19 the deputies told the water company that he had left the property in oct 17 .............................

    But that wasn't true was it - as you say you father returned home for 6 days in March 2018 and your mother lived there till August 2018.

    It's not clear but were you also living there until October 2018 when you went abroad.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • jbuchanangbjbuchanangb Forumite
    540 posts
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
    The timeline and people involved are not clear. There is reference to a "parent" and then the use of the male pronoun "he", indicating that the parent was the OP's father, but later the OP mentions "mother".
    Liability for the water bills is with the owner/occupier of the property, even when they are not in residence. When my father was in a care home, but still owned his own house, his attorneys still had to pay the water bills at his house, until they had sold it.

    In the OP's case it sounds as though the parent is liable for the water bills, and that these should have been handled by the deputy as long as the parent was alive, but living in a care home and the house was unoccupied.

    If at some point the OP took up residence at her parent's house, effectively as a tenant, then she should have reached an agreement with the deputy as to liability for such things as utility bills and council tax.

    Clearly once the parent had died, the matter passed out of the hands of the deputy and into those of the executor.
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