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Landlords concerned by water bill liability

Water companies say they are more vulnerable to bad debts, as unlike other utilities, they are not allowed to cut people off or limit their water supply.

Experian estimates that private tenants are responsible for around £500million of unpaid water bills every year, while the review confirms that approximately £11 of everyone’s bill is used to pay for the debts of others.

Graham Kinnear, Managing Director of Landlord Assist said: "The suggestion that the landlord could be responsible for the tenants water bills is absurd and will do nothing to enhance the position of the private rented sector.

"If landlords are made liable for unpaid water bills they will have no other option but to increase rents to cover the extra liability."

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2 thoughts on “Landlords concerned by water bill liability

  1. JohnThorpe says:

    I think the Water Utilities have a point here and haveincluded the water bills in my rent collected.

    When I have vacancies I need to use water to clean up etc so I see paying the complete bill each year is a practical step to take.

    I alo take the electricity and gas supply over at the end of a tenancy and pay for electricity or gas consumed whist the property is empty.

    Water and Electricity utilities are only obliged to read the meter once every two years which makes them very vulnerable to tenants who skip without paying. I have made ir absolutely clear to the Utilities that I will not pick up the tenants bill and they have accepted this unconditionally.

    My propertie sare in the South East Home Counties

    Hope this is of interest

  2. Major Landlord says:

    At the best of times, the behaviour of the water companies is obscene, and they never miss an opportunity to charge, even when they are supplying nothing. Thames Water is a prime culprit. That’s what comes of giving private companies a monopoly, in which they think (and actually usually can) get away with anything.

    When my properties fall empty, I always tell Thames Water the same day. They make no allowance for lack of consumpton, and simply switch the charges to me. I now automatically request a water meter every time a property falls empty, so I will not be faced with charges during future voids.

    But they then take as long as possible to fit a meter, so they can continue charging. It has taken 6 months or more in the past, and every time I have a fight. They lie, they make excuses, and do anything they can to slow or prevent the installation. I have reported them to CCW, my MP, had stories published in the local press – but it makes no difference. And it makes a mockery of the government drive to introduce metering as a way of conserving water supplies.

    As for the suggestion that I should make good any default by my tenants, the water companies can take a running jump. The tenants used the water, not me. If they owe the water company, they probably owe me too. If the water company cannot be bothered to exercise sensible credit control, and take note of/act on the readings and forwarding addresses I always give them on changeovers, that’s their problem.

    The water companies have it their own way far too much. If I had my way, they would all be re-nationalised so we don’t pay through the nose for an essential, and give away our money to French, German and American companies.

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