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    • Sheepyx3
    • By Sheepyx3 6th Jul 18, 3:53 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Backdated Water Bill
    • #1
    • 6th Jul 18, 3:53 PM
    Backdated Water Bill 6th Jul 18 at 3:53 PM
    Hi everyone!

    Hoping someone can give me some advice. I've just received a huge backdated water bill from Southern Water and a 'Notification before Default' for a property I lived at for a year (and vacated a few months ago). I had absolutely no idea that the property was supplied by Southern Water hence why I never contacted them. When I moved in I was told that the water was supplied by another company (which I informed and paid), that I didn't have a water meter and there was no mention about Southern Water whatsoever. In the whole year of living at the property, I have also never received a single letter from Southern Water (nor have the landlords or the previous tenants for that matter). Literally had no idea that Southern Water supplied our property as well. While I do appreciate that it's my responsibility as a tenant to inform utility companies, how the hell am I supposed to know that the property has two water suppliers?! What are my rights? Are there any legal steps I can take to prevent my account from defaulting? I don't have the money to pay the bill in one go and I'm also in the process of applying for a mortgage so coming up with a payment plan is really going to affect my application (not as much as a default, but still...) I'm just really angry as well, because I would have easily been able to set up a monthly direct debit with them if I had known that we had two water suppliers.

    Any advice? (Even if it's just an idea of who I could contact for for help, I'd really appreciate it!)
Page 1
    • macman
    • By macman 6th Jul 18, 4:44 PM
    • 43,079 Posts
    • 18,270 Thanks
    • #2
    • 6th Jul 18, 4:44 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Jul 18, 4:44 PM
    You wouldn't have had 2 suppliers. However, you may well have had one supplier for water supplied, and another for drainage and waste water. This is quite common in 'border' areas. Check your bills from the other supplier to see what they have actually charged you for. I suspect you have only been billed for one service.
    If the bill is valid, then SW should give you a payment plan lasting at least as long as the billing period (one year).
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 6th Jul 18, 8:30 PM
    • 2,240 Posts
    • 71,042 Thanks
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 18, 8:30 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 18, 8:30 PM
    As well as checking what the bill is for, you need to check what the money you paid the other company was for and you also need to check what period you are being billed for - does it include periods when you were not in occupation?
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 6th Jul 18, 10:39 PM
    • 27,716 Posts
    • 13,604 Thanks
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 18, 10:39 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 18, 10:39 PM
    From Southern Water's perspective it is perfectly possible they didn't know the property even existed.

    Contact SW asap and, as advised above, ask to set up a payment plan.
    • antrobus
    • By antrobus 6th Jul 18, 11:09 PM
    • 16,607 Posts
    • 23,526 Thanks
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 18, 11:09 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 18, 11:09 PM
    Wikipedia says, and it might be right;

    Southern Water is the private utility company responsible for the public wastewater collection and treatment in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent, and for the public water supply and distribution in approximately half of this area. Some areas within the Southern Water region are supplied by a number of smaller water supply companies.

    Southern Water has a list of other water supply companies in their area of operation.
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