shared water supply

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    shared water supply

    Hi all first time poster so please be gentle with me, apologies if something similar has been posted else where.

    So i own a building which is part commercial 1 shop and domestic 3 flats. The property is old approx 200 years old, the shops supplied by water plus and the domestic tenants supplied by severn trent, trying to get the two companies to talk to each other is virtually impossible

    There is one water supply which supplies the whole property which is metered and all the water goes through this meter for the shop and the flats.

    The tenant in the shop pays this bill but understandably is a bit annoyed he's paying for the domestic tenants water as well, bearing in mind the tenants are also paying to severn trent.

    Having separate meters is not possible due to the layout of the building.

    Would it be a fair assumption that if i had the bill in my name and shared it out as a percentage to the 3 domestic tenants and the commercial tenant, knowing what each tenant is paying now.

    Id be interested to here peoples thoughts, thanks in advance .

    Justin

    #2
    That's a mess.

    Domestic customers cannot switch water suppliers, and Water Plus are only allowed to supply business premises not domestic.

    Who had the supplier changed for the shop?
    Presumably the shop owner has switched to Water Plus which has caused this mess.

    Although Water Plus could also be partially blamed for not checking, but how were they to know the flats were on the same supply unless someone told them?

    The flat occupants are already paying Severn Trent for their supply.
    If you pay it yourself and ask them to pay you or up the rent to cover it that makes you a water reseller and you have to be careful not to overcharge them.
    (I recall a thread where a LL wanted to fit PAYG water meters in a HMO).

    The quickest/cheapest practical solution is to relocate the meter so that it is only metering the shop and not the domestic premises, if that is possible with the current pipework.
    If that isn't possible with the current pipework then it will mean that the piping runs through the shop need to be changed to keep the shop seperate from the flats.

    But there is potentialy a bigger problem here:
    A Domestic water supply cannot be cut off for non payment of bills, the law doesn't allow it.
    Business water supplies can be cut off for non payment of bills, so if Water Plus don't get paid they could cut off the mains supply to the shop which would illegaly cut off the domestic supply.

    The only way to solve this properly is to have seperate supply from the mains for business and domestic supply, which is going to cost.

    PS. I have a similar situation, but in my case the shop supply is taken from the unmetered flat and then metered in the shop after it leaves the flat, so nobody is paying twice. (As long as I don't get a meter in the flat that is, if i did then the pipes would need to be rerouted which would not be easy in this 400 year old building).
    It's still not right and will eventually need to be sorted out and another supply from the mains installed for the shop, but as it's the same supplier then for the moment it's not as much of a problem as yours.

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      #3
      I posted a reply but it went to moderation, hopefully it will be approved soon.

      Comment


        #4
        Welcome to LLZ.

        What did OFWAT say when you raised it with them please?

        You own freehold and these are tenants not leaseholders?
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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          #5
          Basicaly it's a mess, probably of the shopholders making (or whoever switched to Water Plus).

          A quick precis of the post that's gone to moderation:

          Water Plus only do commercial property, they are not allowed to supply domestic property.
          You need to get the commercial/domestic supply's seperated, either by rerouting pipes inside the property or preferably getting seperate comercial and domestic supply's from the mains*. Which will still probably need re-piping inside.
          If you pay the bills and then charge the tenants you become a water reseller and subject to more rules.
          *There is a potential legal issue if the shop doesn't pay their bill and Water Plus cut them off, that would also be cutting off domestic properties which is illegal.

          In my opinion Water Plus should never have accepted the switch without checking that it was a purely commercial supply.

          Comment


            #6
            Hi all

            Thanks for your thoughts there were certainly a few points that i hadn't thought about, i think water plus have some questions to answer.

            i think a separate supply to the shop is probably the best solution.

            many thanks for all the comments

            Comment

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