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Sorry for the long post:

 

 

I have been busy looking for ways to keep as much money as I can in MY pocket. By this I mean I always pay my bills on time and often in credit. I wanted to save money on my water rates and looked in to getting my supply from the water companies directly.

 

 

Currently my bill is £10.35pw. Not a lot you may think! But this is paying the Council directly as they get a discount for being a huge customer. They appear not to pass this saving on to their tenants....

 

 

The interesting point on this matter is that you will be paying a share of other peoples debts and voids. This is explained within the case listed below.

 

 

Let me explain. 1st of all you need to find out if your LA is overcharging you, how you may ask. This is easy to find out by using a tool most water companies use to decide what your bill could be if on a metered supply. Will you save money? Umm a very good question to ask.

 

 

Depending on where you live and whom is supplying your area you will need to find this for yourselves. In my area this is Essex and Suffolk water. They have a tool you can fill in and it will give you what you could pay if you changed to a meter.

 

 

I did this and found out that I could potentially save upwards of over £300pa. A huge saving by any standards. My savings is based on the fact I do not have a bath and a single occupant and that I have a wet room. So I would save by switching supplier and going directly to them and not my LA.

 

 

Now the interesting part of my post:

 

 

There has recently been several important cases heard including a hearing at the High Court. The links are as follows.

 

 

1. http://www.localgovernmentlawyer.co....d=56&Itemid=24

 

 

2. http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2016/457.html

 

 

From the long read you may discover that you can ask your LA to allow you to switch supplier. I made this information known to my LA and they are already beginning to filter out letters to their tenants.

 

 

I am what is known as a block voice for my estate and asked if I could get my supply metered and at a reduced rate from the main suppliers directly. their response was a resounding NO! But then I linked them to these cases above and they had a change of mind. If it turns out that residents may have been overcharged, then they may be able to argue a refund against the different prices you had to pay.

 

 

This I am currently looking in to and will update as and when anything comes to light. There is so much more to this issue but would make the initial read far to long so have just given basic information this far.

 

 

What are your thoughts on this subject please?

 

 

Note to admin not sure if this is the right area to post if not please feel free to move..

Similar thread here >>http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...ht=water+rates with no replies

 

MM


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A quote from one of the links above...

 

 

Court rules council overcharged 37,000 tenants for water and sewerage pdf_button.png printButton.png emailButton.png

 

'Friday, 04 March 2016 15:20 A London borough has overcharged approximately 37,000 tenants for water and sewerage services, a High Court judge has ruled.

Southwark Council, one of the largest social landlords in the country, collected from many of its tenants – including the claimant, Kim Jones – charges for such services supplied by Thames Water Authority and, later, Thames Water Utilities.

 

The question in Jones v London Borough of Southwark [2016] EWHC 457 was whether the Water Resale Order 2006 applied to these arrangements and, if so, whether the local authority had charged tenants more than was permissible under the 2006 Order'


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Another interesting point of view from one of the links is this paragraph >>

 

 

Commenting on the case, the claimant’s law firm Deighton Pierce Glynn said: “The most immediate effect of the judgment is that Southwark Council tenants at risk of losing their homes due to arrears are likely to have a defence that at least some of their arrears are due to unlawful overcharging.”


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Interesting thread, MM. I would suggest that all LA tenants should check with their LA if they are making their water/sewerage payments via their rent book. It is wrong IMHO that people should be charged more for a service by having it included in their rent, than if they were to pay direct to the water company.

 

 

I seem to recall other services such as gas and electric being forced on LA tenants where they live in flats - and the whole building is supplied by one supplier and it would appear that the LA might receive some form of compensation for doing this. Very wrong. .


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Thanks cB

 

 

Don't forget that there has also been recent cases and some serious refunds for tenants re: gas/electric recently. Up to £2k in some of my Borough due to the overcharging and linking in to residents lighting circuits for communal lighting outside their flats. That was a right mess and very costly in some cases....


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I am a council tenant and I get charged £10.66 per week for water and sewerage charges. In 2007 it was only £5.86 per week!!!!!!

 

I'm going to check if I can get it cheaper.....


:cool::cool: Blondmusic :cool::cool:

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My boyfriend (who lives in a 2 bedroom house just like me) only pays £366 per year for his water and sewerage yet as a council tenant I am paying £554 per year.

 

That's a difference of £188 per year


:cool::cool: Blondmusic :cool::cool:

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I am a council tenant and I get charged £10.66 per week for water and sewerage charges. In 2007 it was only £5.86 per week!!!!!!

 

I'm going to check if I can get it cheaper.....

 

 

I think anyone who is caught up in this situation should check if they have the right to switch to a cheaper supplier of any of their utilities. If the LA says no, then this situation needs exposing.


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Looks like this could turn out to be a very interesting thread.

 

My LA tried to blind me with rateable calculations and useless bumph.

 

They also held a meeting on this matter very recently too. I am asking for the minutes of this meeting to see how and why they have started to make changes.

 

What if something like the LA's having to repay all of those that have been overcharged? This could costs £m's especially if this can be proved till time gone by!!


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Here is another update for those that are interested see here >> http://www.southwark.gov.uk/news/article/2127/update_on_historic_water_charges_and_refunds_for_council_tenants

 

 

'Council tenants may be eligible for a refund for a proportion of the water charges they paid between April 2010 and July 2013.'

 

 

'This follows a court case in which the council was judged to have overcharged tenants over that period.

Like many other local authority and housing association landlords, Southwark Council had a longstanding agreement with Thames Water whereby they collected water charges as part of tenants’ rent. For tenants, this meant that they did not have a direct relationship with the water authority and their water usage was an additional service charge like heating and hot water if they were part of a district heating system or garage rent if they rented a garage.'


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Very interesting, do you know if this applies to Housing Associations as well as Councils?

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Hi if you pay your HA the rates then they MAY be overcharging you will need to check for your self...


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I do indeed as well as many other things. At the moment, the water company will not tell me what the total bill is as I am not their customer and the HA will not tell me either.

 

Will tenants also receive interest on their overpayments at the County Court Rate?

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I do indeed as well as many other things. At the moment, the water company will not tell me what the total bill is as I am not their customer and the HA will not tell me either.

 

Will tenants also receive interest on their overpayments at the County Court Rate?

 

 

I would think that you might be able to claim for some interest on the overpayments (if found that you have overpaid), but would think the County Court rate would only apply if you were to issue a claim.

 

 

I think you might be able to send a Subject Access Request to the Housing Authority if they are not prepared to tell you what the bill is/should be ?


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Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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I haven't heard of LA's charging water rates. I live in a 3 bed house and am on a meter. There are 3 if us here, I pay £30 a month and am in credit.

 

For info I know of a HA scheme where utilities are all part of the service charge, but as none of the properties are metered they can't tell who uses what. So poor old Mrs X who watches the pennies and tried to keep bills down pays the same as Joe Bloggs who leaves the heating on full blast day and night with the windows wide open.

 

Joke(?) is that this place won a design award but they missed out a basic requirement like meters.

 

Apologies to MM if a bit off topic, but I must say I think you pay too much for water.

 

Why not send a FOI request to find out what LA pay and how they calculate what they charge?


 

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Further to this interesting post I wanted to post more on overcharging by my LA if you want to know more follow this link (new story)

 

http://m.echo-news.co.uk/news/14174284.__1million_windfall_for_overcharged_tenants/


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Caro.

 

No apologies needed. Yes I am have been paying far too much for my water. Our new rate will be in the region of £4.65pw for a studio/ one bed flat with a single occupancy.

 

I can also apply for an exceptional discount due to medical reasons (as can others).

 

So when I made my observations known back at the start of the year they tried to hide behind complex calculations. Dohh! Not right, not going to happen.

 

So being me I gave a little more information to get them to nibble until I was able to gentle guide them to the corner then drop my bombshell.

 

Finally it was taken up and discussed at board level.

 

But, with me there is always a but. My second line of attack is the prolific overcharging of a hidden admin fee for part I/II sheltered/assisted living fee/s, they are not aware of this yet but they will be in about 24 hours.

 

I hate those that profit from the vulnerable in our society even if it costs me my time and energy.

 

This is my 4th success with issues running into the 100's of thousands of pounds...


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We have a water meter and pay about £300 annually. In effect our bill dropped by about £70 after having the meter fitted but we are a couple in a semi detached with a small garden front and back.

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So this thread seems to be progressing nicely. I wonder how many LA's have had requests on this subject since it was posted. Now that would be interesting..


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Can't I delete this?

Edited by Rexroth
I was trying to repy to one particular post and though I had pressed the appropriate button to quote it. Otherwise my post does not make sense.

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Hi if you pay your HA the rates then they MAY be overcharging you will need to check for your self...

 

This is what I was trying to do by asking here. What I needed to establish was whether the case applied only to LA or to HA as well.

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Have a read of this article >> http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/water-bill-ruling-could-leave-landlords-owing-millions/7014296.article

 

 

Further reading of use is here >> http://www.southwark-libdems.org.uk/council_forced_into_water_rates_u_turn

 

 

'Council forced into water rates U-turn

 

 

Updated 2016-04-18

 

 

Southwark’s Labour housing bosses have been forced into a humiliating climbdown and will now spend £8.4million refunding council tenants for historic water rates it should not have charged for.

 

A recent decision by the High Court of Justice ruled that the Council had overcharged tenants for water bills between April 2010 and July 2013 and had breached laws on how it bought and re-sold water and sewage services provided by Thames Water. The court found that the Council had made a profit from tenants paying for these services through their rent.'


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I have found out how much my landlord has been charging me for water rates since I moved into this house in 2007. What I need to know is ow much the water company would have charged during that time compared to what the council have been charging me.


:cool::cool: Blondmusic :cool::cool:

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Dependant on your area you can get a basic idea by going to the suppliers site and running the estimation tool if they have one then you may be able to work it out from their.

 

In my case that turned out to be about £7-00pw since 2010. Have a look and you maybe able to work it out.

 

Also your LA may be in the process of writing to their tenants anyway to see what the state of the overcharging could be...


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I will give my local supplier a call and ask how much they were charging for 2010,2011,2012 and 2013. I should be able to work it all out from there.


:cool::cool: Blondmusic :cool::cool:

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