Water rates relating to flats with no meter

My mother in law occupiers a flat in a independent living building owned by Sanctuary Housing. She pays water rates direct to STW but also pays water rates within her rent for the communal areas.

 I spoke to STW today for an explanation of her bill, I was advised that she is on the Assessed Single Occupier charge. I asked the agent why she was on this charge, his reply was that if a Rateable Value isn’t on the property and if a water meter cannot be fitted to the flat, that this is the fairest charge for a person occupying a property as a sole occupier. I then asked how the charges were assessed. His reply was, it’s a comparison of usage on banded properties, so a flat is the lowest band and the charges are set on a comparison of usage of all single occupied flats.

 I can not see how this is fair, she has no washing machine or dishwasher in her flat, only has a shower. The washing machine is in the communal area and therefore the water usage is included in the charge for water in her rent. How can this be compared to a working age person living in a flat, who will have a washing machine in use, possibly a dish washer, shower more regularly and more than likely longer than she would. When I put this to the Manager I eventually spoke to, she totally agreed with me but explained that STW do not have an alternative tariff to put my mother in law on.

I have now contacted Ofwat for their explanation.


  • wild666
    wild666 Posts: 2,100
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Any water company that cannot fit a meter at a property will put them on an assumed rate for the property if asked and this will likely involve 50 cubic meters of water used in a year plus the standing charges. YW assumed this when I first got a water meter and my first DD was £16 per month, I quickly got that down to £9 per month within two years, after telling my daughter to not run taps when they weren't needed when she was cleaning for me. 
    Ask them to put your MIL on an assumed rate for having a meter and this will cut the bill in half if the MIL is frugal with her usage. 
    Someone please tell me what money is
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