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  • FIRST POST
    • QuackNuts
    • By QuackNuts 21st May 18, 10:44 AM
    • 40Posts
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    QuackNuts
    Land lord is charging for water from HIS leaking pipe
    • #1
    • 21st May 18, 10:44 AM
    Land lord is charging for water from HIS leaking pipe 21st May 18 at 10:44 AM
    I've had County Court Claim papers for invoices where the land lord has charged me for water from his leaking pipe. He has known about this leak for over 6 months. We have paid for what we have used. However, the land lord has said that our meter is now at the beginning of this leaking pipe (which also serves other properties of his) and that we now own the pipe and we should fix it.
    We have explained to him that we will pay for the water we use as per the meter in our building as we have for the last 34 years but he refuses to repair the pipe and has point blankly refused any arbitration. The water that is being wasted is quite considerable (about 23 cubic meters/day) so we have concerns for the damage this leak is causing, any land lord in their right mind would get this fixed ASAP!
    So please could anybody could point is in the right direction to compile our defence for the court? Any pointers or related cases would be greatly appreciated.
Page 1
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 21st May 18, 10:59 AM
    • 27,861 Posts
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    Cardew
    • #2
    • 21st May 18, 10:59 AM
    • #2
    • 21st May 18, 10:59 AM
    Contact the Consumer Council for Water https://www.ccwater.org.uk/households/
    • QuackNuts
    • By QuackNuts 21st May 18, 12:02 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    QuackNuts
    • #3
    • 21st May 18, 12:02 PM
    • #3
    • 21st May 18, 12:02 PM
    Thanks for the link Cardew. Unfortunately they can only explain the terms and conditions of the Water Resale Order which led me to this https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/prs_lft_guidetowresale.pdf It seems that it's the individual who is being wronged that has to enforce the Water Resale Order by going to court themselves

    It did point out that the reseller can't charge more than what they are paying so that might be another arrow to the bow.
    • dogshome
    • By dogshome 21st May 18, 1:08 PM
    • 3,217 Posts
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    dogshome
    • #4
    • 21st May 18, 1:08 PM
    • #4
    • 21st May 18, 1:08 PM
    The usual situation is that the Water Co are responsible for water leaks pre the meter.
    However - there are occasions were the building developers installed the pipework to service the dwellings, and although each final user has a Water Co. meter, the Water Co regard the buildings water pipework as 'Private' once it crosses the street boundary.

    Thus this pipework falls into same category as the roof - If it's broke the owner fixes it.
    Interesting that the the leak is measured at 23 cm3 a day, it suggests that there is a meter monitoring every drop of water into the site
    • QuackNuts
    • By QuackNuts 21st May 18, 2:25 PM
    • 40 Posts
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    QuackNuts
    • #5
    • 21st May 18, 2:25 PM
    • #5
    • 21st May 18, 2:25 PM
    23 cubic metres!! We would normally use that over 3 months. The pipe is on his land, he gives us a bill stating previous and current readings but the last two bills he's used his meter readings at the beginning of the leaky pipe rather than the readings from our meter for what we have used as he should have done. If he wanted us to own the pipe surely there'd be a whole load of paperwork regarding the ownership change but there has been no such paperwork..?
    • dogshome
    • By dogshome 22nd May 18, 7:38 AM
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    dogshome
    • #6
    • 22nd May 18, 7:38 AM
    • #6
    • 22nd May 18, 7:38 AM
    OK
    It seems the set-up is that the L/lord has a Water Co.meter measuring all water into the site, and private W/meters are installed to measure the water use of each dwelling so the L/lord can produce individual bills.

    1st thing to do is read your lease agreement - Chances are that measuring and payment for water is gone into in some detail and the L/lords change of measure is outside the terms.

    With County Court paperwork issued your best bet is to consult a solicitor, but failing that, be prepared to attend the court with all your ducks in a row
    Lease details - Photos of the leak - Proof that it is on the supply side of your meter - Copies of Current and Previous water bills

    WIN/LOSE ?
    Whatever the final result is with this battle, it's my opinion you should be looking to move
    If you win you will have a Landlord with a severely dented ego who'll be looking for revenge - If the L/lord wins, there is no knowing what other charges he'll decide you are responsible for.
    • Pagett
    • By Pagett 22nd May 18, 8:12 AM
    • 84 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    Pagett
    • #7
    • 22nd May 18, 8:12 AM
    • #7
    • 22nd May 18, 8:12 AM
    I've had County Court Claim papers for invoices where the land lord has charged me for water from his leaking pipe. He has known about this leak for over 6 months. We have paid for what we have used. However, the land lord has said that our meter is now at the beginning of this leaking pipe (which also serves other properties of his) and that we now own the pipe and we should fix it.
    We have explained to him that we will pay for the water we use as per the meter in our building as we have for the last 34 years but he refuses to repair the pipe and has point blankly refused any arbitration. The water that is being wasted is quite considerable (about 23 cubic meters/day) so we have concerns for the damage this leak is causing, any land lord in their right mind would get this fixed ASAP!
    So please could anybody could point is in the right direction to compile our defence for the court? Any pointers or related cases would be greatly appreciated.
    Originally posted by QuackNuts
    If this is your defence, then put it verbatim on the appropriate form.

    The thing with the county court (small claims) is that they expect you to act in person; they understand you are not a lawyer, and so you are not expected to cite legal arguement or case law in your response. The judge will look at your defence and apply his expert legal mind to which laws apply to your defence.

    Just one other thing - if you are concerned about the leaking water damaging your own property, or spoiling your enjoyment of the tenancy, then consider a counter claim as well.
    If you are only concerned about damage to the landlord's own property, do not mention it as it just muddy's the water. I think you've enough to worry over, without worrying about what effect it may have on the landlord's own property.
    • QuackNuts
    • By QuackNuts 23rd May 18, 7:37 AM
    • 40 Posts
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    QuackNuts
    • #8
    • 23rd May 18, 7:37 AM
    • #8
    • 23rd May 18, 7:37 AM
    He certainly has spoilt our enjoyment of the property with this and many other things. How is such an effect quantified?
    • dogshome
    • By dogshome 25th May 18, 1:11 PM
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    dogshome
    • #9
    • 25th May 18, 1:11 PM
    • #9
    • 25th May 18, 1:11 PM
    Further thoughts

    The L/Lord issues invoices, albeit based on incorrect data, which you have not paid.
    His application to the court is based purely on the monetry value of the debts listed on those bills, and the fact is that you do owe him some money for the periods he has billed..

    Strongly suggest that you send the L/lord a cheque with a covering letter by Royal Mail, ( get proof of post certificate), showing how you have worked out the the amount sent.
    This puts the Landlord in the position of haveing to prove to the court - if it gets that far - that his change of billing system is legally justified
    • QuackNuts
    • By QuackNuts 29th May 18, 12:35 PM
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    QuackNuts
    We have paid for the water we have used, given him photos of our meter as he has not sent his man to read them in the usual manner and explained we've paid for the water we use. He wrote back saying that we shouldn't alter his invoices - which actually makes a nice change because normally he just ignores all our letters.
    • dogshome
    • By dogshome 31st May 18, 2:11 PM
    • 3,217 Posts
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    dogshome
    Add this evidence of payments made to all the paperwork you take to court, what date has been set for the hearing?
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 31st May 18, 6:31 PM
    • 2,497 Posts
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    D_M_E
    If the leak's not been fixed yet, where have the approximate 4500 (186 days x 23) cubic meters of water gone?
    • QuackNuts
    • By QuackNuts 1st Jun 18, 12:39 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    QuackNuts
    Not got a date yet. The water has been leaching out through the ground and through the wall around the yard of another property, through their yard and into their neighbours field. The land lord had 'his man' dig a groove so that when it comes out of the wall it's channelled into a drain and he dug a ditch in the field to divert the flow into a culvert.
    • Mykidsmum
    • By Mykidsmum 2nd Jun 18, 1:30 PM
    • 27 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    Mykidsmum
    I would report the leak to the water company and give them the Landlords details, phone number/address. He is the person receiving the bills for the lost water which he is trying to pass on to yourself. The water company may repair the leak free of charge.

    If it is the landlords responsibility to repair the leak he will be given a notice to have it repaired within a set period of time. If it is not repaired within this time period the water co. will do the repair then bill the landlord for the cost of repairs.

    Check the water company's website for their leakage code of practice.

    If you do end up having to go to the County Court at least you will have evidence to support your claim that the high bills to yourself are not justified.

    Good luck!
    • QuackNuts
    • By QuackNuts 2nd Oct 18, 3:24 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    QuackNuts
    Update.

    The mains water supplier have been "communicating" with the land owner and sent a plumber. The plumber was quite dismayed and said he wouldn't be digging the yard up by hand. So, it looks like the mains water supplier has to go through all the hoops again so they can dig. The land owner is obviously giving them the run-around. As at 31/07/18 and according to the land owners figures there have been 6.2 million litres of water through the leaking pipe since the middle of Dec.'17. That's enough for 16 standard 25m swimming pools.

    We have a date for court..... and so the work done so far is going into version 3 then 4 etc.
    Last edited by QuackNuts; 02-10-2018 at 3:24 PM. Reason: spelling mistake
    • QuackNuts
    • By QuackNuts 13th Dec 18, 10:49 AM
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    QuackNuts
    Glad to say the pipe got fixed. As far as I'm aware it was done as an offer of goodwill by the mains water supplier and so my contribution to the repairs will be zero. Unfortunately over 12.5 million litres of water were wilfully wasted by the owner of the pipe, that's enough for 5 olympic sized swimming pools.

    We went to court and the owner of the pipe thought his spoken word would be good enough. He had no evidence at all, so we have to go back next year when he's got his evidence together. I found this a bit disappointing because he had had more time than me to prepare as he brought the claim. I just hope it's so they can dig the hole a bit deeper for him.

    He's obviously very bitter as he's already put his next claims into action.
    • QuackNuts
    • By QuackNuts 13th Dec 18, 11:04 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    QuackNuts
    I'll start a new thread for some help with his next claim, if anybody could please, regarding the Insolvency Act 1986, section 123 (1)(e)
    • wavelets
    • By wavelets 13th Dec 18, 11:13 AM
    • 1,162 Posts
    • 512 Thanks
    wavelets
    I'll start a new thread for some help with his next claim, if anybody could please, regarding the Insolvency Act 1986, section 123 (1)(e)
    Originally posted by QuackNuts
    If your landlord is going bust, I would urge you to concentrate your efforts on finding a new place to rent.
    • dogshome
    • By dogshome 13th Dec 18, 3:37 PM
    • 3,217 Posts
    • 1,674 Thanks
    dogshome
    See my last paragraph on Post #6


    Whatever the court eventually decides, if it goes that far and I have my doubts, you still have a Landlord who makes the rules up as he goes along, and on top of that he's likely to be seriously p****d off.

    Wavelets has got it right, look for somewhere else NOW
    • QuackNuts
    • By QuackNuts 13th Dec 18, 3:46 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    QuackNuts
    It's not the landlord that's going bust - he's worth over 7 million. He wants to make us insolvent, the letter is from some firm that only started 11/10/18 and their client (the landlord) says the money outstanding is not disputed. He obviously hasn't told them that we've already been to court over some of it.
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