Water Meter Issue

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    Water Meter Issue

    A friend recently moved into a property (not new build) with his family and found out the previous tenant had a water meter fitted and did not cancel within 12 months as per the terms.

    His bills are 3x higher on average and was wondering if there is anyway out of this since he was not party to original contract. Is there some way to get his home back on rateable value, he doesn't mind moving companies either.

    #2
    Originally posted by Handson View Post
    Is there some way to get his home back on rateable value, he doesn't mind moving companies either.
    Not a chance.
    The water co's (supported by government) are doing their damndest to get everyone on to meters; I expect that ultimately the last few properties around which have evaded meters will end up being forced into it.

    If your friend's bills are outlandishly high it may well be that there's a leak somewhere - has he tried taking readings over a period of time when nobody's in the property (even overnight, maybe?)

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      #3
      Are they billing him for actual water used, or adding on arrears left by a previous tenant?

      Has your friend checked for leaks? Switch off every tap etc in the property and check whether meter is moving - watch it carefully for atleast 5 minutes, as even a very minor leak over a long period can use significant amounts of water.

      Other than this, they might have to ration water usage to get bills down. Fit "Hippos" in each toilet cistern - of not the genuine ones, fill small pop bottles with water and drop them into each cistern to reduce amount of water used in each flush.

      Shower instead of bathing. Don't run taps when brushing teeth. Check washing machine for an economy setting to reduce amount of water it takes in. Save up for full loads instead of washing frequent smaller ones.

      As above, once meter is fitted, you cannot revert to rateable. I am fairly sure you cannot change companies, as you are stuck with the regional supplier in each area. TBH, you are paying for what you use, and this is much fairer to everyone!

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        #4
        Granted there is full house of people and a higher bill is expected under this arrangement. At rateable value he would be pay 350-400 max. Here they are looking at close to 1000 p/a. A water meter does not suit families.

        Are there not any scenarios where companies have allowed the meter to stay installed, but not used it for billing?

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          #5
          Originally posted by Handson View Post
          A water meter does not suit families.
          This is the old poll tax argument I'm afraid; it doesn't suit families because single people and couples, who generally use less water, were covering part of your usage under the rateable value system. Metered water is infinitely fairer to all; you pay for what you use and have the chance to reduce your bill by reducing your usage - simples!

          Do check for leaks as advised, but before you do that check with the water supplier that your billing amount is correct for the size of your family; they may just be billing you based on the average usage of the previous occupants.
          My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Handson View Post

            Are there not any scenarios where companies have allowed the meter to stay installed, but not used it for billing?
            Not as far as I am aware, I'd be amazed if there was.
            My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

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              #7
              No water meter for me, so I'm one of the people paying a premium (Me and my partner) and no sewerage (septic tank). I prefer to pay marginally more because its a certain amount and don't have to overly worry if I get a leak etc!!
              [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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                #8
                Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
                No water meter for me, so I'm one of the people paying a premium (Me and my partner) and no sewerage (septic tank). I prefer to pay marginally more because its a certain amount and don't have to overly worry if I get a leak etc!!
                I agree. I would rather pay a little more that is fixed sum and know what I'm paying than these fluctuating bills a meter would give to bigger household.

                My friend is a bit stressed about it. He is used to rateable so got the shock of his life on this new system. Given it was not a new build for which it is mandatory.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post

                  As above, once meter is fitted, you cannot revert to rateable. I am fairly sure you cannot change companies, as you are stuck with the regional supplier in each area. TBH, you are paying for what you use, and this is much fairer to everyone!
                  It might sound fairer for something that you won't use often. For something as important as this it makes no sense. It's the age old telephone argument - pay for what you use or pay a flat rate line rental and use as much or as little. I suspect overall it would work out cheaper for all customers on the latter. We are where we are now and this is system that will be increasingly used.

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                    #10
                    Check your docs to make sure anything isn't now out of date.

                    Also they should consider reducing usae via eg Water Butts.

                    ML
                    Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

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