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Water Supplier Doesn't Have Our Address On Record - No Bill So Far

edited 16 April at 11:36PM in Water Bills
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LED93LED93 Forumite
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edited 16 April at 11:36PM in Water Bills
So at the beginning of March, we moved into a new flat. We were told by the letting agent, and the landlord that the water supplier was Severn Trent, and water.org find your supplier tool confirmed this. However, when I tried to set up an account at the beginning of the month, our address wasn't listed. So I contacted them and they said our address wasn't on their system. They said they couldn't do anything and suggested I wait a couple weeks to see if I get a bill or one of those 'to occupier' letters. However more than a month later and we've received no letter or bill. We sorted everything else out just fine (Energy & Council tax) it's just the water that we can't seem to get a handle on. The address is a complicated one as we don't technically have a house number. We're above a shop sort of tucked away behind more shops so our address is along the lines of 'flat 1, rear of 8, example road' and from letters we found when moving in we know it has also been known to be listed as 'flat above unit A' but neither of these are listed on Severn Trent's website. I have a coworker who doesn't pay water, as when they tried to set it up, they discovered their supply wasn't connected direct to the mains, but was connected to the supply of the salon below them so basically the salon was paying their water and the landlord (who owns the entire building) just told them to leave it like that. We think this might be the case for our flat and I've emailed the landlord to find out for sure, but I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar situation or can offer any advice on how to sort this? I don't want to get a year down the line and then get slapped with a massive water bill. 

Replies

  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Welcome to the forum.
    There have been many reports on MSE of similar cases. Often when a large house is converted to flats, the developer doesn't bother with getting a separate water supply to each flat( which should be metered post April 1990) and it is never noticed by the water company.
    Your set-up and that of your co-worker is illegal. As you pay council tax you should be paying the standing charges for water and sewerage.


  • edited 17 April at 10:55AM
    macmanmacman Forumite
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    edited 17 April at 10:55AM
    How is the property addressed for CT? Don't both the leccy/gas and water suppliers use the same RM database for billing purposes? If one provider can list you, then I'm surprised that another can't.
    Track the supply back to see if there is a meter. If so, they can trace you by the serial number.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • LED93LED93 Forumite
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    macman said:
    How is the property addressed for CT? Don't both the leccy/gas and water suppliers use the same RM database for billing purposes? If one provider can list you, then I'm surprised that another can't.
    Track the supply back to see if there is a meter. If so, they can trace you by the serial number.
    This is what confused me haha. Though setting up the energy was also a bit of a faff. When we moved in there were unpaid bills listed to the address 'flat above unit A' which according to our tenancy agreement, isn't our address. Set up the energy with the correct address by giving them the meter serial number - tried giving Severn Trent both addresses but neither are on record. 
  • LED93LED93 Forumite
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    Got back in contact with Severn Trent today to see what I could do. Can't find a water meter anywhere in or outside so keeping in contact with Severn Trent is the best thing I can do. 
    They told me that an account had been set up for me when I first contacted them back in March and that a Welcome letter was sent out. Letters sometimes don't make it to us as our flat is hidden behind shops and we don't have a number on our door (I'm working on rectifying that) so I thought oh, great, problem solved!
    Got the info to log in only to find the address listed for the account was that of our neighbour. Told them this and gave them both addresses that our flat was known as, but no luck. Also told them that I'm pretty sure we are connected to the mains as we have a big blue bendy pipe under the kitchen sink connected to a valve where the supply can be switched off but I'm no plumber so I could be talking absolute waffle. 
    They said it wasn't uncommon for the water rate to be included in the rent of properties such as ours (above a shop), but our tenancy agreement definitely says we're responsible for the water. I told them this so they said they would investigate it and see what info they can find. They also said that in these situations they would usually send a guy out (which is what they did for my coworker) to find out how the flat is connected. But, because of our good friend COVID-19 this won't be possible for a while. 
    So, all I can do now is contact the landlord to see if he knows anything about the connection, and wait for Severn Trent to contact me. 
    I'm also going to have another snoop around to see if I can find a meter. 
    Better start putting some money aside for the inevitable big bill when this is all finally resolved. 
  • edited 18 April at 8:15AM
    CardewCardew Forumite
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    edited 18 April at 8:15AM
    LED93 said:
    I'm also going to have another snoop around to see if I can find a meter. 
    Better start putting some money aside for the inevitable big bill when this is all finally resolved. 
    I would think it unlikely you have a meter, as had one been fitted you would almost certainly have a Severn Trent account.
    If the shops were built before April 1990 they might not have a meter.
    If your property cannot be metered e.g. because of a shared water main, Severn Trent will probably charge you an 'assessed charge' which depends on the number of occupants - details available on their website.

  • macmanmacman Forumite
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    This is really for your LL to resolve: they should know how the supply is set up, and tell you. The LA won't have a clue, nor will they care.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
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