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Oct, 2014

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  1. #1

    Default Who is liable for water charges and bills- L or T?

    Northumbrian Water Dispute

    I am a landlord.
    My two flats had no tenants and Northumbrian Water is pursuing me through the small claims procedure for water charges during this period.
    My argument is that as no water services were used during this period there should be no charge. I told Northumbrian water that as a tradesman was doing some work in the property my understanding is that water should be available by law for health and safety reasons; though I understand from the tradesman that no water services were used in the property during the vacant period.

    Any advice?

    Thanks

    John
    Last edited by jboyle1; 04-11-2009 at 12:29 PM. Reason: update facts

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,583

    Question

    Is the water supply on a meter or rates?

    If it’s rates, the owner is responsible whether occupied or unoccupied, one drop taken or a whole lake.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Poppy View Post
    If it’s rates, the owner is responsible whether occupied or unoccupied, one drop taken or a whole lake.
    Not correct.

    Normally the tenant is responsible whilst there is a tenancy agreement unless the contract specifically states that the rent includes water charges.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,583

    Default

    I am responding on the basis of jboyle1’s statement "My two flats had no tenants".

    Let’s clarify. During a void, the owner is responsible whether occupied or unoccupied for all ongoing bills water, gas, electricity, council tax, mortgage, service charge, maintenance, whatever.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North east
    Posts
    24

    Default

    My rental property is in the Northumbrian water region and before I had tenants in I spoke to N'brian Water to confirm the property was empty, hoping to not have to pay any water charges.

    Their clear answer was I had to make a choice: 1. they could turn off the water from their end - no further charge until it was turned back on or 2. I could keep the availability of water but I had to pay water charges, along with the standing sewage charge.

  6. #6

    Default

    Poppy,
    Appologies...thanks for clarifying and it looks like we are both correct.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    0

    Default

    Thread moved from "RESIDENTIAL LETTINGS" as that does not seem to be appropriate.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    355

    Default

    When I bought my conversion project property the water company billed me for 6 months water rates, an astonishing amount at c.£650 ie £1300 per year!!

    I had already asked for a meter to be fitted and was told I would have to wait about 6 weeks. As the house was unocuppied awaiting renovation and building works I declared it unoccupied and the account was closed. After the meter was fitted they then started billing me for the water used. 1st water bill for 3 months was all of £40 due to the infrequent visits whilst we waited for planning permission etc and the limited amount of water used - we did a bit of pressure washing slippery paths and steps for safety.

    Not been paying council tax either as it is unocupied. It will now need an 'inspection' to satisfy the council that it is still uninhabitable due to the building works.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,583

    Question

    A few questions for jboyle1:
    • Have you read a document published by Northumbrian Water entitled "Your Water Your Services 2009/2010"?
    • Have you read page 4 subtitle "Do I pay water charges if my property is unoccupied"?
    • Is your property furnished?
    • Have you requested the water to be turned off?

  10. #10

    Default

    I read the booklet you sent, thanks.

    The property was unfurnished while being renovated.

    I told Northumbrian Water that as a buider was in there my understanding was that water should be available for health and safety reasons.

    However the workman said he used no water.

    The property is a ground floor flat and does have a water meter but it is shared with the flat above.

    Therfore any water usage was fom the first floor flat.

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