Who is responsible for this. Really worrying please help.(29 Posts)
OK I have NC
I moved into this property seven years ago and it is on a water meter. It is a house converted into flats.
I queried on several occasions why my bill was so high as one bed flat, only shower no bath and washing machine used twice a week. At weekends we at at my parents Friday to Sunday.
Told it was correct and actually quite low but my Grandfather was paying less and having baths, using washer daily and in a house.
Then my credit on my account started going up. I rang and queried and was told I wasn't actually in credit but it was because I was on a payment plan and paying my bill in advance. My bill lowered slightly but still a reasonable amount and so I kept paying the x amount a month payment as told.
In July it was identified that meter wasn't working and hadn't been since 2015 when they changed the old meter as it was apparently slowing down. They had failed to pick it up even though I had raised it and have agreed to charge just standing changes for that period.
They have been and changed meter just before the holiday in August 2017 and I thought it would now be okay. I Arranged to be in so that they could check the meter was working properly as I was told I was meant to, I waited in until 4pm only the engineer didn't turn up. I rang and was told he had been and replaced the meter but hadn't knocked.
Came back from holiday in September and just been told new meter is not working either. They are coming back out on the 25th to replace again.
I've been told by a friend that they had issues in a flat and that it is possible that when they came out in 2015 and changed the meter that they may have done something wrong meaning my other flat neighbour has been paying for my water.
I am now terrified that that is the case and that my neighbour will demand the money from me towards his bill.
A. My usage is very low normally £12.90 actual usage not including standing changes each month and b. Possibly lower as during the two year period our washer had broke and we were using my Mum's and only in Monday to Thursday during that time.
I literally don't have spare money to give neighbour if he did ask (and he would) and I suffer from anxiety so didn't sleep at all last night.
Would I be responsible in paying him back or would water company?
I also don't know how neighbour would work out how much of his water bill was mine. I know he might demand half which would probably not be accurate.
If it's the company that have screwed up then they will have to reimburse.
I would just direct you neighbour back to the water company. You paid the bills you were sent.
The bills you receive are nothing to do with you.
The water meter is nothing to do with you.
Therefore anything owing to the neighbour is nothing to do with you.
Especially as you queried it with the water company, on several occasions.
I wouldn't worry too much.
If the company screwed up he should be able to claim compensation from them
If he tries to claim it from you, refer him back to the company. You've done nothing wrong here
I wouldnt worry about paying your neighbour yourself either. the water company should reimburse them.
if you’ve paid water company for your usage i wouldn’t worry too much, worse case, they refund you and you pay neighbour, but really they should sort it all out and if you have probs take them to the Ombudsman
What a gigantic pain. I'm sorry. I think you should be pro-active and go to your neighbour before they realize something is off and explain to them what is happening. Tell your neighbour that you are aggressively trying to get this resolved with the company, and if you do owe them money, you will of course reimburse them as soon as possible. Most people are reasonable, and dealing with it before they are blindsided with an erroneous bill will more than likely diffuse the situation - they will see that you are an honest and considerate person.
Like others have said, and I should have, the water company will/should be the ones to reimburse your neighbour. Whatever the case, you REALLY need to take a deep breath and try to relax. This is not a big deal.
Do not discuss money with your neighbour or agree to refund them at all. Let the water company deal with it. If your neighbour has paid for your water, the water company will refund him - NOT YOU.
Your neighbour cannot ask you for any money even if his meter was recording some of your usage (and it’s unlikely it would have been). If he believed that the meter was recording some of your water usage he would need to go back to the water board and reclaim the costs from them.
They in turn could then recharge you if your bill had been incorrect but in reality very few water companies would actually do this. They can only go back a maximum of one year and have a duty to not cause financial hardship as well. As they would be completely at fault for not installing the meter correctly you could also take this to the ombudsman if they did try to charge.
Don’t stress about it. If your neighbour says anything ask him to raise any issues he has with your water company. There is nothing he can do to claim money from you direct.
You’ve been paying more than you think you should so why do you now think someone else has been paying your bill?! It seems like your mate told you an anecdote and you’ve decided it applies to you?
Mykingdom friend presented it as a 'oh well if they have replaced the meter and the new one is still not working then it MUST be something like that as in other situation the next meter would have worked.
When you have anxiety its very easy to go home and start thinking well actually...
As several PPs have said,this is not down to you to sort out. It was the water companies fuck-up,so it's down to them to sort it out,not you. If your neighbour asks you for money,you just refer him to the water company. Their problem,not yours.
Sorry Mykingdom I've just read your post properly. I was only paying higher than I expected initially.
When my credit on my account started going up (dramatically hundreds in credit I rang and queried and was told I wasn't actually in credit so I kept paying the x amount a month payment as told. But it actually turned out that I was actually in HUGE credit as my meter had unbeknown to not been working (it's under the ground somewhere on a public payment) so I had been paying standard charges but not actual water consumption.
I work in a large block of apartments, and pay the bills for some, while tenants pay directly for others.
We have had issues with the meters reading the wrong reading/ incorrect readings. Yorkshire water are dealing with this. They have categorically told me that we will not be charged any amounts that have been under charged, but we will receive a refund of any overpayments made. They have taken ages to sort it, but they have issued refunds.
Don't start getting anxious about it, don't even get in touch with your neighbours, just let them do their jobs and sort it for you.
Thanks knobjockey that's very reassuring.
OP says the bill is both "so high" & "very low"? I'm confused.
Don't see how the water company can demand money retrospectively, though, from what was their mistake & you always paid up in good faith. I imagine you have very firm ground to stand on.
I work for a water company and in this situation we would give an allowance to the other flat tenant/owner and try to get your meter working asap (sorry didn't read thread fully so hope I've got the situation right). In no way would you be responsible for paying anything back to your neighbour. Hope it gets resolved soon.
I own a studio flat with shower, dishwasher and washing machine.The water meter is read twice a year. The water bills are £100-120 per year. 120 when there's a couple living there. With the scenario you put forward you have easily paid for your water. Don't worry and certainly don't discuss with your neighbour
In our development , It turned out one meter was not registering water use and another one did not record much usage. They were replaced but no arrears were due.
Lijjk sorry basically initially it was much higher than I had been paying at a previous property in the same set up and I queried and was told it was correct and actually my usage was very low compared to most people (probably because we aren't home at the weekend) but it was still a higher amount than normal for me.
So when my instalment amounts initially went down I just assumed that they had not read my meter recently, had now read it and had adjusted it as that amount was more normal for what I expected.
It was only when I logged in and the credit was starting to go dramatically up that I queried it.
If your bills were so high you were querying them, isn’t it more likely the opposite, that you might be owed money?
If your neighbour was paying your bill, wouldn't that mean you were paying their (clearly higher) bill, too? If that's the case I would think, if anything, YOU were owed money.
But as PP have said, the blame lies 100% with the company, so if there were ever any dispute, it needs to be laid at their feet.
Please just keep receipts, bills and emails. If you speak to someone at the company concerned, ask for an emailed transcript of the conversation or take dated notes yourself.
I know a prestigious block of flats built where the contractors wired everything incorrectly including meters (that was not all they did wrong) but it was only spotted a couple of years on when the owners of one flat hadn't been there and were being charged high usage ...
Yes up to a point. The bills were only higher than normal initially.
After they replaced the water meter in 2015 because it was running slower (I was unaware it had even been changed as its out it in the street or that it had been running slow. Since they replaced that meter I have had a zero water reading as it never ever worked however as I was still bring given a monthly payment to pay of £22 a month payment which was not that different to what I had been paying at the old property I didn't think anything of it until I logged in in-between bills one day and my amount in credit had shot up massively which is when I rang them.
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