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    • You're like, super helpful and unhelpful at the same time lol.   What do I search for, I searched form 4, and nothing, I searched claiming compensation and nothing about this.   I can't find the top squares logo.   Can you post a link or tell me what to search.   Sorry if I'm slow.
    • use our custom google search box  click our top squares logo it should appear on that page   dx
    • Apologies, I haven't used a forum for years!!   I defo wish to keep the 2 issues separate, sorry!   My only issue I need help with is the increased compo for marstons - if possible.   I don't know anything about claiming compo etc. (I only recently found out one of the NHS biggest costs are NDA payouts)   I don't know what form 4 is; so far, they've offered £250 and I haven't accepted or denied it.   So yeah, can you forward me to some more info?   Also, usually I'm good at google etc. but I can't find many stories on this stuff, regarding PCN/TFL etc.   Thanks again!
    • ok things are getting clearer...   I've merged 2 of your posts for clarity and removed the swearing, (behave please) I've also taken down the two images you posted should you wish to post things up please use PDF so we can zoom easily and don't forget to redect them read upload carefully.   I think you need to continue to keep the two thing sep. those being increased compo for marstons- if possible ( if you are raising a form 4? complaint through the court - it might be better you don't? - they are very hard to justify and can be costly - so the fact it might not be moving forward could be a good thing, but listen to others here too) and the issue of the PCN wasn't justified - which you need to further expand on please.   the more info you post up the better please but please use multipage PDF files only and carefully redact them    
    • Thanks for trying btw! It's kinda in 2 parts.   1 is that the PCN wasn't justified in the first place and I wasn't aware it had escalated. I received the initial fine from TFL which I challenged and heard nothing back from (for 5 months). Then another letter from a separate PCN which made me email TFL to inquire what was going on but again, heard nothing back.   (BTW I can see how confusing this is so thanks again for trying)   So, I had no idea my car was at the risk of being taken - that's the first part.   No 2. is:   I got a phone call saying my car was on the back of a truck round the corner from mine (they hadn't left any notices or anything, and the car was parked directly outside my house). My friend said they were attaching the straps and securing it to the van (so I think they got it on the back of the van and moved it before securing it).   When I ran round the corner I saw the EA's van. I went upto it and asked what was going on. He was rude and told me to go away. Then after I kept knocking he got out the van and was aggressive and refused to ID himself or tell me why he had my car.   He shouted at me, was rude and unprofessional, he then left with my car. I complained to Marstons and asked for the bodycam footage.   They gave me the footage but it was clearly edited and cut short (because in the beginning of the footage he was the most aggressive).   They then told me he wasn't required to have the camera turned on when he's in the van, only when he's 'actively pursuing a warrant' and I was only allowed the footage I was in. (which is 2 different things) So I asked them to clarify which is true.   Anyway, I reviewed the footage and sent in my complaint (talking about what happened in the footage) They replied and said they watched the footage and disagreed with everything I said.   So I wrote a more in depth response with the CIVEA code to reference + the TFL EA guide etc.    Then they asked for more time, called me and finally apologised and admitted he had acted untoward and was in the wrong.   They then offered me the goodwill payment.   This has taken up weeks of my time, caused me serious trauma and PTSD and even after I complained WITH video evidence, they still initially denied it which means they officially lied, on record, while representing TFL.   I told TFL what was happening they said I had to continue with Marstons etc.   £250 goodwill isn't enough, the car cost £800 to get out, the suspension is messed up and I'd like to claim compensation for everything.   I don't know if that makes me sound like i'm money grabbing or whatever but they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.   The police had to come before they could call an ambulance cause I was having a panic attack and it was a HORRIBLE experience.    So any help would be great please    I have the whole file from Resolver in a ZIP file but it's a lot of writing and I think you've read enough of my writing to last a life time!   I did a statutory declaration of OOT, got it signed by the court etc. but it was rejected.   I then tried to take them to court but it cost £250 I think which I don't have. You can get it for free if your low income but they wanted bank statements that I couldn't get. They're waiting for me to reply with documents to get a free court date.    did you receive any of the pcn's - was that why you appealed? - Yes, sorry!   unless it's trying secure a greater level of compo from marstons? - Yes, sorry!   For the record I just saw this pop up, read it and now feel much less guilty about my enquiry!
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Thanks, Friends, I've read the original judgement and it applies to Housing Associations who entered into a similar arrangement with a water supplier i.e. they bought the water and resold it as distinct from acting as agent for the water company.

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I seem to remember that under the 1995 Housing Act when a service charge is made on a tenancy the landlord must provide full details and evidence of their expenditure. I shall check this out. Please don't confuse this with service charges on long leases which so many people do.

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It's all in the details. It seems to be catching on. Many LA'S are taking notice. I wonder how much national has been overcharged?


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I've actually been embroiled in this for years!

 

My LA is Golden Gates Housing Trust, they have a deal with United Utilities where they handle all water accounts and payments and charges.

 

I am close to taking the matter to the Housing Ombudsman, and am in the process also of complaining direct to UU. It will likely also go external with that complaint.

 

What has happened is my disabled mother had a water meter fitted in her bungalow, as did I in my flat. She was still being charged the old rateable value on the property, so I cancelled her direct debit, and mine, realizing we were overpaying.

My mother ended up getting all sorts of threats, but every time they threatened her we advised them she was on a meter and they denied it! So, after years of this, finally I got access to my water supplier, because until recently they refused to talk to us, and they admitted they have been overbilling her, even on the old rateable system! She was £300 in credit.

 

But, while she was in credit Golden Gates Housing Trust were insisting she was £325 in arrears, and get this, threatening her with eviction.

 

This is the crux of my case: Can a LA such as Golden Gates Housing Trust, legally evict tenants solely for none payment of water rates?

 

That's what I'm trying to find out. She got loads of letters, phone calls and visits, insisting they were going to evict her if she didn't pay, even though she only owed for water rates, and as it turns out she didn't actually owe anything.

 

Anyone know if they can legally evict people like this? Because I know GGHT are doing this, they added my niece's water charges to her account, reclassified it as rent, and then took her to court, purely for RENT arrears. Is this legal?

 

I'm going to take both sides of this to the respective Ombudsman service, and see the outcome.

 

It doesn't help my mother is severely disabled and was in very poor health when GGHT rep called on her and threatened her.

 

It would be interesting to get some feedback on this from anyone that might be able to offer any useful advice.

 

I kept all of the letters which I have got and she, showing all sorts of wild calculations and billing and demands.

 

Thanks for any feedback.

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There are many issues here but to answer some...

 

If a service charge is reserved as rent in the tenancy agreement then arrears of a service charge will be treated the same as arrears of rent.

 

The HA cannot reclassify a service charge as rent but see above.

 

If a payment is made to a HA it depends on what it was tendered in respect of i.e. was it a payment of rent or of the water charge? If a tenant does not state this then the HA can generally allocate it to whichever they like.

 

A landlord cannot evict a tenant only a court can issue an order for eviction. There is a very strict protocol to follow with HA tenants.

 

Having been an advice worker, a long time ago and not in housing, it was my experience that a letter from an advice agency tends to get more attention than from a private individual. Might I suggest you try Shelter for advice as to a local agency.

 

I do in any case think that you need proper advice from a specialist agency or a solicitor to stop this nonsense.

 

Best of luck with it all.

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Thanks for that kind reply. Since I got involved they had pretty much folded on all issues. Admitting they didn't realise they had actually fitted a meter, and then not reading it for 18 months, which they acknowledge. They further admit they overbilled her, and UU have offer just £25 compensation. I figured I might as well push it to the Ombudsman, because the primary issue for us is that neither side is willing to issue proper, itemized bills. Also they refuse to allow us access to an online water account, to check our billing. I am pushing this because I see it as discrimination, that all of UU's other customers have twice yearly detailed billing, and tenants of GGHT get told what total to pay, and refuse to provide any breakdown. If they had always done this my mother would never have massively overpaid, and never been wrongly threatened with eviction.

 

As accounts are either hugely in credit or up to date, there are no further threats of eviction, but I want to know if they can legally evict over this. You make an interesting point, about what we as tenants have accepted as a service charge. When both of us got our properties we were both Warrington Council, and eventually the housing association took over the stock. I still have my original tenancy agreement from the council, and there wasn't much to it. I'll have to dig it out and see what it says specifically about service charges.

 

The issue though that I am pushing for, is that if we have water meters, we should get proper itemized bills, and they flatly refuse to do this, saying it is too expensive! Both sides have claimed that to me.

The issue of being able to evict tenants for not paying water charges seems to me to be immoral, and I am pushing for a decision on it higher up, externally because given how little information they are willing to provide us, it is clearly wrong.

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

 

 

 

Yes this Did and Does Apply to my HA. (North East Area)

 

 

When I moved in I had to get there permission to Install a water meter. Upon getting this Permission it was installed with in 2 months so now saving on what I would pay as a Non tenant and also saving what they took off as a so called admin charge. Approx. £100 plus a year as I can't recall now what the Admin fee was.

 

 

If in Doubt write to them asking for permission to install a meter and see what happens . Good Luck

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Thanks, I can't as we share bathrooms in a house with complex tenancy/licensing arrangements.

 

Did you ask and/or get any money back because, in view of the recent case, you should?

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Thanks, I can't as we share bathrooms in a house with complex tenancy/licensing arrangements.

 

Did you ask and/or get any money back because, in view of the recent case, you should?

 

 

 

Sadly No I don't think I will as it was 8 years ago when I saw what they where charging me and having moved from another LA Area out of a HA property were I had, had a meter Installed I thought No way was I paying what they were asking at that time and hence asked them and got permission. Applying now I doubt if I would and for the amount of time (months) not worth it I don't think. Having said that my HA are looking and advising people to ask about water meters.

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Provided my Council (LBTH) is charging me precisely what Thames Water would be charging me, based on the old rateable value of the property, I have no complaints. If Thames Water were giving any bulk discount to the Council I wouldn't expect this to be passed back to the ratepayer and I'd rather they did invest it in the general housing budget. I would still be getting a free administration service in not having to deal directly with Thames Water.

 

That said, I don't trust the Council and would like to calculate the weekly charge myself for verification. The problem is it seems that only the water companies hold records of all the old RVs for domestic properties. Even the Valuations Office no longer has any records. I'd also need to know the multiplier figure used in 2016 by Thames Water against the RV for my property. I suppose my only option is to ask Thames Water directly for these two values.

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Hello all,

 

 

Newbie here,

 

I would like to add that my new landlord (a London LA) advised me of a weekly water charge totalling (£780 pa) direct to them. I have a self contained flat within a large house. I little investigating Thames Water advised me my estimated water charges on a meter would be in the region of £500. I did a quick calculation via Consumer Council for Water calculator, with my estimated use of water consuming items (washing machine, toilet, bath etc) and they estimate my water bill on a meter is estimated to be £440- so saving if I change. Asked Thames Water to fit a meter, but they couldn't fit a meter- so advised of special tariffs in such situations which is in the region of £300. I advised my landlord of my intention to change to a meter a little while ago, haven't told my LA a meter cant be installed yet (only found out recently) but I want to pay directly because of the savings- I hope they don't refuse! any advice on my right to pay directly-or at least at the cost Thames Water is prepared to charge me?

What's really disgusting is my neighbour both single people pay the same rate!!!!!!!!!

Also Thames Water send bills to the old tenant!

 

 

On the issue of profiting by social landlords- my old HA landlord began a few years ago to add 10% management on service charges to all tenants (small no. of leaseholders and us general social rented- (included communal water, electricity, lifts (we had disabled residents), security guard etc)- I didn't think that was right but could find anyone who was able to advise either way.

 

 

Any advice on the above would be much appreciated. I will update you on my situation when I have more.

 

 

Thank you

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How about getting advice from Shelter and/or from a local housing advice service if such exists in your area?

 

I would write back asking "What is your authority for the proposition that you may unilaterally alter my tenancy agreement and specifically why do you consider you have the right to make a management charge?" also ask what consultation they undertook with tenants (none I suspect). They are supposed to. Also, make a formal complaint and ask them to deal with it under their formal complaints procedure. When they don't reply or deal with it contact the Housing Ombudsman Service who will if pressed contact the Landlords.

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I have been engaged with my LA for over 2 years on water charges, indeed everytime they send a bill. I have my first complaint with the Ombudsman. My interest in my charging came from an Ombudsman ruling pertaining to water resale with the Borough I live in. A few weeks ago when I became aware of the Southwark ruling I asked the council about the impact and await there response. In my case its about getting a water meter fitted denied but slowly as more of the picture comes to light it seems that no is not always the answer they give. Secondly its about a leaking pipe on LA land that went un-noticed for over a year and for which the LA has a liability as landlord. Finally its the LA as a reseller of water to its tenants on my estate. So far have managed one refund for 150+ properties.

 

What has been interesting in my case is the LA's failure to answer promptly its always unduly protracted and I have also involved the Information Commissioner. Over the two years I have been chasing this on behalf of our Tenant and Resident Association there has been a 100% turnover in the staff dealing with water resale within the LA.

 

Your water charge if resold should not be part of your Service Charge it should be a distintinct item you are billed for. OFWAT has a guide on the information you are entitled to be provided with from you reseller including if they estimate then reconcile your bills yearly.

 

The main lesson I take from my experience is don't give up, the more they attempt to frustrate you the greater the chances are your argument is correct.

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Might I point out that the intra-link to Ombudsman gives the Financial Ombudsman Service whereas in this case the relevant body would be the Local Authority Ombudsman?

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I didn't put a link into my comment I suspect its something "clever" in the web coding that assumes. In this context clearly I refer to the Housing Ombudsman.

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Further to my initial post I spoke to some of our small group of tenants reps. They looked in to this as well and spoke to our ALMO and it has been agreed that the complex that I had seen would be the 1st to get offered a discount on their rates. The following statement is from the resident rep for it and has told me that the discount is significant in their case.. See below for their response....

 

 

'Thanks for the email. We had a meeting with Essex and Sussex Water Tuesday as you know, and they told us the price for single occupancy is £108 .50 compared with the current charge of £229.08 that we are paying at the moment.

 

I phoned Anglia to find out the cost of sewage and they informed me that is would be £167.62 for the same period. Therefore instead of paying £521.56. I would be paying for both services £276.12. Quite a big saving!'

 

Regards

 

The next stage in this saga is to reclaim a significant amount of arrears, this could go as far back as when the ALMO took over from the LA, in this case that is a staggering 16 years. I need to look in to this further and have already asked for all of the minutes for these. So watch this space.

 

 

Round one to the tenants!!


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Good, do you have the figures in writing?

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For just one month alone this figure of just £7.65pw overcharged could see a refund of £55.80pm for this month alone (2006). This figure decreases as the dates get closer... (2016) see the bottom picture.

 

 

Imagine how much a single tenant could be refunded for a year!

 

 

In my attachment I have added the overcharge for 4 weeks from 01/01/2006 and for 01/01/2016 there is a significant different in the amounts...

 

 

Just goes to show how much money is involved now....

Just for 4 weeks of overcharging 2006 and 2016.pdf


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Good, do you have the figures in writing?

 

 

They will be available shortly to these residents in this case..

 

 

New post just added please view the attachments for further information...


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Hello all,

 

 

Newbie here,

 

I would like to add that my new landlord (a London LA) advised me of a weekly water charge totalling (£780 pa) direct to them. I have a self contained flat within a large house. I little investigating Thames Water advised me my estimated water charges on a meter would be in the region of £500. I did a quick calculation via Consumer Council for Water calculator, with my estimated use of water consuming items (washing machine, toilet, bath etc) and they estimate my water bill on a meter is estimated to be £440- so saving if I change. Asked Thames Water to fit a meter, but they couldn't fit a meter- so advised of special tariffs in such situations which is in the region of £300. I advised my landlord of my intention to change to a meter a little while ago, haven't told my LA a meter cant be installed yet (only found out recently) but I want to pay directly because of the savings- I hope they don't refuse! any advice on my right to pay directly-or at least at the cost Thames Water is prepared to charge me?

What's really disgusting is my neighbour both single people pay the same rate!!!!!!!!!

Also Thames Water send bills to the old tenant!

 

 

On the issue of profiting by social landlords- my old HA landlord began a few years ago to add 10% management on service charges to all tenants (small no. of leaseholders and us general social rented- (included communal water, electricity, lifts (we had disabled residents), security guard etc)- I didn't think that was right but could find anyone who was able to advise either way.

 

 

Any advice on the above would be much appreciated. I will update you on my situation when I have more.

 

 

Thank you

 

 

I am currently doing some investigations in to LA's that charge an 'admin fee' I will update as this becomes available.

 

 

One question to ask you is are your LA/HA working as an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) or is your LA doing this in house?

 

 

The reason for this IS some LA's pay an ALMO a management fee to look after their stock, they (ALMO) should not be charging a management fee to the tenants. This is what I am looking in to ATM with the complex, as they too are being charged significant fees.

 

 

Like gardening and communal lighting, heating, door entry fees, costs for the aerial and so on. So looks like this is just all about to come out and could be of interest to others... This ALMO even charge for communal rubbish bins too.


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I have an update

 

Good, do you have the figures in writing?

 

It's been a while since I have updated this thread and can now do so some what. Here is my reply >>

 

Dear Mr mikeymack2002

 

Further to our conversation, I can confirm that the AMC* for the property would be £108.50 per annum charged by Essex & Suffolk Water and a charge of £128.27 per annum from Anglian Water for your waste water charges, a combined total of £236.77 per annum.

*Assessed measured charge can only be offered to a customer following an inspection by an Essex & Suffolk Water Technician, who then determines that due to the plumbing system at the property, it is not practical to install a meter (or meters) to measure the water consumption.

 

I can also confirm that a Technician visit has been booked for you for Friday 12th August 2016 between 8am and 1pm. I will ask the Tech to call you before he arrives to allow you time to prepare for his arrival.

 

If it is possible to have a meter installed at your property, you may qualify for Watersure – please see the link below.

 

https://www.eswater.co.uk/your-home/your-account/tariffs-and-charges.aspx

My water meter has now been fitted

Statement questions for TVA.pdf


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Hi,

 

I have just been reading an article in yesterday's Sunday Mirror which may be of help. Apparently there is a Group Action by WaterClaimsUK against both Councils and Housing Associations. I have just registered.

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