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Hi guys,

 

 

I received my last water bill a while ago and it's double what the previous bill was.

 

 

I'm having problems understanding what's going because there have been no major changes to the house.

 

 

They had been sending people round to access the meter in our front garden which they have never done before.

 

 

It was a rather bizarre incident.

 

 

These guys showed up and asked who they should write to at this address and

 

 

I explained that we were already with Thameswater and I didn't understand what's going on.

 

 

I don't know if we're getting billed for another house or what's going on.

 

 

Is there any way our bill can be recalculated?

 

 

I don't understand how reading a meter at the front of the house has affected our bill to this extent.

 

 

Can someone help me with this situation because I have a feeling Thameswater will make a dogs dinner out of this.

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how about involving the water regulator

 

 

ofwat is it?

 

 

dx


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Do you still have copies of past bills with meter readings on them ?

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Yes I do, but sometimes we never got the bill, only letters to say our bill is overdue and the reason they were overdue is because we never got the bill in the first place. Those letters only had the amount on there. I'm just concerned because I never did receive additional letters from them like the workmen who came to look at the meter said. I don't know where all the extra spending has come from.

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Hi everyone,

 

Please help me with this:

 

I live in a shared house with other flatmates and our current water bill with Thames Water is in my name. We have a meter outside and pay every 6 months. Some time this year, out water bill suddenly tripled and Thames Water eventually did an investigation. There are findings were that the readings are accurate and correct from what they can see, even though every person I've spoken with on the phone seems to think it's pretty much impossible for a water bill to suddenly get that high. I don't know what's happening, but obviously we are expected to pay and we don't have that kind of money because it was totally unexpected. I honestly don't for one second think we've used this much water but don't know what the next move is. I'm hoping to move out by the end of this year and I'm pretty sure I can't change the name on the bill with the amount of money owing on the account.

 

Please can someone give me some advice as to what I can do, because as far as Thames Water is concerned, they've done as much as they can.

 

Thanks

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Has anybody been out to see the property and to investigate the problem on site?

 

Have you got a garden

 

Over how long a period have you had the normal bills before you have had this spike?

 

An increase of 300% over your normal activity for six months seems to be very high but are you able to identify any difference in behaviour of you of your flatmates or any difference in the way that your water supply is being consumed?

 

Has there been any risk at all that there has been some kind of leak for instance an ongoing flow into the toilet from the system which is the been left unattended?

 

I understand that sometimes when Thames water notices that there has been a change in the level of consumption than that it is higher than normal that they may send you a "high consumption letter". Have you had one of these?


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Thanks for your reply.

 

Yes, someone came out to investigate. They basically told us to switch off any appliances that use water in the house whilst they looked at the meter. They said the meter didn't move during the investigation, therefore nothing was wrong.

 

Yes, we have a back garden and a small front garden, but we don't use the hose or a sprinkler system.

 

I moved into this house in May 2012 and the water bill has typically been around £250- £300 every 6 months until February this year.

 

There has been no change in the pattern of behaviour or usage at all. They don't take baths etc.

 

Our toilets seem fine and they're not over running either.

 

We haven't had one of those letters at all. I'm so baffled and stressed out about this.

 

Thanks again

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How long did they check the meter for? Anything less than an hour defiantly wouldn't show up. Try it over several hours.

 

Leave all your taps turned off, and dont flush the toilet. Take a picture of the meter reading, and wait as many hours as you can. take another picture later and compare. If you have any leaks then the readings will be different.

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How long did they check the meter for? Anything less than an hour defiantly wouldn't show up. Try it over several hours.

 

Leave all your taps turned off, and dont flush the toilet. Take a picture of the meter reading, and wait as many hours as you can. take another picture later and compare. If you have any leaks then the readings will be different.

 

The engineer checked for less than 5 minutes.

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Hi everyone,

 

Thank you for the replies so far.

 

(I don't know if it should be posted in a separate area but it's related to this water bill situation.) I spoke to my landlord today and he said he fixed our toilet in the summer as it had been running non stop, but I didn't know. He's a live- out landlord and we're an HMO. He seems to think that the toilet problem wouldn't have caused the water bill to triple. In this situation, is he liable for at least part of the water bill? Our rent is a few days late and I still have the money in my account. If I took it directly from our rent to pay for this bill, could I get into legal trouble?

 

Thanks for the help again.

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It really takes something a tiny amount of constant water to put your bill up. In fact, I have had the same issue with my toilet, and expecting a high bill.

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I thought so...I just don't know how to prove it's because of the running toilet and if he's liable, I'm sure the landlord will refuse to take full responsibility anyway.

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Hello everyone,

 

You might have seen my other thread in regards to the extremely high water bill- http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?456334-Thames-Water-Overcharging. I thought I'd start a second thread now that I've spoken to the water company and my landlord again.

 

The water company has done all the investigations they can do and they have found that they are not at fault, given that there are no leaks coming from outside and the meter number they have on our bill is correct. The landlord has told me he fixed a faulty toilet which was overrunning some time in the summer. I didn't know this at the time. The water company said if there is a leak in our house, they have something called a leak allowance but because the toilet was fixed a while back, we won't be eligible for the leak allowance now, as it has to be signed off by a plumber.

 

My question is, is the landlord liable/responsible for this huge bill or at least a large chunk of it? If he refuses to pay, can I take money from our rent to pay for it? I really would love to get this sorted and would appreciate it any help.

 

Thanks,

Zoe

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Any Home Insurance that covers loss of metered water ?

 

If not, whoever is responsible for not fixing the leak when it was known about would be responsible. Your landlord would have responsibility for ensuring all facilities in tne house were working. Your responsibility is looking after the house as a responsible tenant, reporting any issues to the landlord,

 

Don't withold rent. Try to sort it out with the landlord. Taking it to court would be difficult, as you have to establish the landlord was responsible and prove the amount they were responsible for.


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I think you need to argue it out with your landlord as to who is responsible.

 

But it is perhaps worth pushing the issue with Thames Water.

 

Was the property occupied over the summer when this work took place? Did anyone report the problem with the toilet which resulted in the LL fixing it?

 

For info, I had the same problem when my B-in-Law was house-sitting for us. He flushed and the float got stuck in the cistern leading to it continuously run for a few days (the builders had put it in the wrong way around) and we got a £150 bill. This was in the South East where water is more than twice the cost of Thames Water mind you.

 

We got a partial refund without having to call a plumber out to prove anything.

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never withold rent for things like this, you may end up suing him for breach of contract but dont give them a reason for taking action against you.

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I've spoken to the landlord again. He refuses to take responsibility for the water bill and so I have to pay it all. He says that we have a spare room and we should have rented it out for extra money so that we have surplus money at the end to cover extra for bills. I know I shouldn't withhold rent, but I feel like I'm running out of options, because I need to leave this property. My landlord doesn't have any of my information other than my bank details (a/c number and sort code) and phone number. Is he still able to take action against me?

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You haven't given very strong reasons as to why it is the landlord's fault, really.

 

If the toilet was overrunning, but none of the tenants reported it then there may be an argument that it was the tenant's fault unless the landlord refused to fix it or failed to fix it for a very long time.

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You haven't given very strong reasons as to why it is the landlord's fault, really.

 

If the toilet was overrunning, but none of the tenants reported it then there may be an argument that it was the tenant's fault unless the landlord refused to fix it or failed to fix it for a very long time.

 

Quite frankly I didn't even know that the toilet was overrunning.

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So how did the LL know to fix it?

Does the overflow run to exterior or in to the panr

Any change in flatmates just before the 'spike'?

Someone left cold tap dribbling, more baths, increased use of washing machine?

Water bill is resp of account holder (you) and yes the LL can take action for debt recovery against you.

Learn how to read the meter and take monthly readings, (or weekly if you suspect a leak).

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So how did the LL know to fix it?

Does the overflow run to exterior or in to the panr

Any change in flatmates just before the 'spike'?

Someone left cold tap dribbling, more baths, increased use of washing machine?

Water bill is resp of account holder (you) and yes the LL can take action for debt recovery against you.

Learn how to read the meter and take monthly readings, (or weekly if you suspect a leak).

 

The landlord came to the house for an unrelated problem. There's quite a few things in the house he needs to fix and he usually leaves them for ages every time. When he came over, he just did a quick look around and fixed the toilet that day. I don't know if he knew before that point, as he has keys to the house and if we're not here, he lets himself in (which I have no problem with).

There was no change in flatmates just before the spike. No one takes baths, we all take showers. No particular increase in use of water at all.

What information of mine does he need to start debt recovery action against me?

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None at all really, he just takes all meter readings on day you vacate and either:-

1.lets TW pursue the account holder, for any outstanding balance, based on that reading. TW will LL of any outstanding debt, as they prob have note he is the LL resp for any payments during voids. Knowing the amount, LL could deduct amount from your deposit. or he/TW has 6yrs to pursue you for financial debt. Can you fly beneath the public records/Internet radar for 6 yrs?

2.Court action is initiated against you, using last known address, and CCJ recordedd, which stays on your credit ref file for 6 yrs.

 

 

Unless LL knew of toilet problem in advance, it only took him less than a day to identify problem & fix it. Why was it not spotted by a tenant.

Did water consumption decrease after toilet fixed\/

Does the overflow run to exterior or in to the pan?

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None at all really, he just takes all meter readings on day you vacate and either:-

1.lets TW pursue the account holder, for any outstanding balance, based on that reading. TW will LL of any outstanding debt, as they prob have note he is the LL resp for any payments during voids. Knowing the amount, LL could deduct amount from your deposit. or he/TW has 6yrs to pursue you for financial debt. Can you fly beneath the public records/Internet radar for 6 yrs?

2.Court action is initiated against you, using last known address, and CCJ recordedd, which stays on your credit ref file for 6 yrs.

 

 

Unless LL knew of toilet problem in advance, it only took him less than a day to identify problem & fix it. Why was it not spotted by a tenant.

Did water consumption decrease after toilet fixed\/

Does the overflow run to exterior or in to the pan?

 

I will settle the bill with TW before I leave for sure because I want my name off that account. I just think as a landlord he should be partly responsible for the bill.

 

Like I said I don't know whether he knew of the toilet problem beforehand, as there are ongoing issues in the house. He's left an unstable bathroom floor upstairs unfixed for over a year, as he doesn't live here, he is never really in a hurry. He's refused to get a professional to fix the mold in the bathroom that's built up really heavily despite us telling him numerous times. I know it seems like I'm being unreasonable but when we spot something wrong we will tell him, if we don't know then we can't tell him. I don't know where the overflow ran to, but there was never excess water on the floor. Water consumption did fall after he got the toilet fixed.

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I think I'm with mariner with this one.

 

The tenants of a property are responsible for water usage in the same way that owner occupiers are. It seems the landlord spotted and fixed the leak in a timely manner (i.e. as soon as he was aware of it).

 

If it were leaking, it would overflow either through a pipe to the outside, or into the toilet bowl. It would not flow onto the floor (the amount of water you are talking about would be rather noticeable).

 

It seems unlikely that the water was overflowing without audible evidence - unless none of you use this facility or you are all hard of hearing. Though I myself am rather sensitive to water wastage and can hear a dripping tap from a mile off.

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