Rainwater removal charge for flats?!

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DaisyBryarDaisyBryar Forumite
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I've recently moved into a flat, and on the breakdown of my water bill (United Utilities, but I doubt they're the only company doing this) more than a third of my bill is for Rainwater removal. This is related to the rain that drains off my roof - but there are 6 floors of flats, all being charged for the rain draining off the same roof! How is this legal?

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  • victor2victor2 Forumite, Ambassador
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    I've recently moved into a flat, and on the breakdown of my water bill (United Utilities, but I doubt they're the only company doing this) more than a third of my bill is for Rainwater removal. This is related to the rain that drains off my roof - but there are 6 floors of flats, all being charged for the rain draining off the same roof! How is this legal?

    You're all under the same roof, even if it is a few floors up. Maybe they've split the cost evenly between all residents, or at least that's what they'd claim. Would make the top floor unrentable if they exclusively had to pay for the rainwater removal!

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  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Unfortunately the Parliamentary Water Act decreed that the default position would be that all properties pay the surface water drainage(SWD) charge(can be called different names) UNLESS the occupant claims exemption from that charge. The normal exemption is that the water from the roof/grounds does not enter the sewers but goes to a soakaway.

    So as the OP rightly states if a 6 floor block with, say, 10 flats per floor, all 60 flats would pay the SWD charge.

    In practice it is probable that the water does go to a soakaway and for many years planning permission would not be granted unless a soakaway was constructed. It is not unusual to find some occupants of a block are not paying SWD charges and others are paying. It is worth checking as water companies usually backdate refunds.

    Actually the water companies do not make more money from this practice as their Revenue is capped by Ofwat. So for any reduction for SWD rebates, prices for all customers are increased; albeit by a tiny amount.
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