tenants excess use of water/failure to report

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    tenants excess use of water/failure to report

    Hi All,

    My position is as follows. T in flat. Managed by A. Fully managed. Same T for last few years. No issues re rent or condition of flat. Regular water bills which I pay on a quarterly basis. T pays £25 in addition to monthly rent. I receive a water bill for sum of £1150 over the weekend. Last reading three weeks ago shows spike in water since early may. I think at first it is a faulty meter. I liase with MA over weekend. It is not. I instruct a plumber and get agent to do an emergency entry on flat. I find toilet not refilling and water going into the overflow. No tenant present.

    T appears to be living there still, property and signs of life are there. No dead body or anything like that. I have asked agent to ask tenant if he reported it. I suspect the answer is no. I have also asked why he did not and where he has been. I have not had any response from agent and have been chasing it since Monday.

    My view is tenant is liable for the water bill. His average use is £150 per quarter . It is neglect of the highest level. Would anyone share this view with me? If tenant refused to pay are there grounds to withhold deposit as if he continues not to engage with the agent I am considering serving s21 notice. In my view he is a danger and a liability. Would anyone else have any other views. Other than that anyone have any other views. I have never had anything like this before.

    Thanks

    #2
    Why are you paying tenants water bill, wouldn't have this problem if it was in the tenants name.

    is this £25 mentioned in the AST or another signed agreement? If so I suspect you haven't got a leg to stand on.

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      #3
      Isn't this self inflicted by not putting the bill in T's name? Of course he isn't bothered about consumption!

      Comment


        #4
        The water charge is a separate charge to the service charge. It is read by the MA and bill sent to the landlord, hence on the AST I get T to pay an additional £25 per month.

        Isnt it the position though that he has a duty report any fault, clearly this bill and reading since 7th may means he clearly does has not and the metre has been spinning day and night, regardless of use of water.

        Thanks

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          #5
          I do agree the tenant has a responsibility to report faults when he is aware of them, but playing devil's advocate he could say he did not know or what if he went away on a holiday abroad for 3 weeks and the fault developed when he was away ? I do think you will struggle with this one in regards to get him to pay, I wish you well.

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            #6
            Maybe you could claim from the insurance or the water company one off 'leak' ?? i know that some water companies would do a one off leak claim so check what you may be entitled to -

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              #7
              Change your system so that the water and other bills are in the tenants name. I think that charging a fixed fee for utilities rather than actual costs will be a problem after 1 june.

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                #8
                Charging a fixed fee that is ever more than the actual cost may be a problem, even now.

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                  #9
                  How long has the tenant been absent? Is there a clause in the AST that says he must not leave the premises empty for more than 21 days or similar. This might give you some way of proving negligence.



                  Freedom at the point of zero............

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                    #10
                    I understand your pain - but unless your agreement with the tenant includes something about paying for excess water use then I suspect your only hope is to negotiate with the water company.

                    If the toilet was not filling you'd expect the tenant to notice but if filling, just overflowing going down the overflow that is easily missed unless you read the meter yourself. You can get shut off valves, they aint cheap https://www.idealhome.co.uk/news/gro...f-valve-209432

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
                      I think that charging a fixed fee for utilities rather than actual costs will be a problem after 1 june.
                      Probably not if it is an alternative to putting the account in their name (S1(7) tenant Fes Act)

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