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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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If a company providing a water supply under the Water Resale

Resolved Question:

If a company providing a water supply under the Water Resale Act 2001 has been charging excessively and contrary to the law how far back can one go back legally to recover the excess money paid.
Is there a 7 year maximum for Companies or can one claim back to the date of the introduction of the Act?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask if the property to which overcharged services is being supplied is your main home please?

Customer:

Hello there!

Customer:

Yes, it is my main and only home.

Joshua :

Thank you.

Joshua :

On that basis as you say the above Act applies. If you find that the company has been charging more than the rules provide under the Act you can reclaim the overcharged amounts for a period of up to 6 years under the Limitation Act.

Customer:

And I can also claim interest for the sums overpaid?

Joshua :

If the amount in question is less than £10K then you can pursue a claim yourself if necessary through the small claims court. You are able to claim interest at 8% per annum under s69 County Courts Act on any money you calculate is owed.

Joshua :

Sorry our posts crossed re interest. Can you read the above re interest?

Customer:

Why is the period only 6 years?

Joshua :

6 years is the maximum period permitted for a debt to be claimed under the Limitation Act. Unfortunately the Act prohibits debts older than this amount of time being pursued.


If you have not already done so the first step is to submit a written claim with a breakdown of the amounts you claim are owed. to the company with a request that they make payment to you within say 10 working days failing which you reserve your right to issue proceedings in the County Court together with interest and costs.


 

Joshua :

If you need to issue proceedings the simplest way to do so is by using www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

I thought the Limitation period applied to the time of the overcharging being discovered and not to a limited period to save the supplier money!

Customer:

Is it not a borderline criminal matter?

Joshua :

There are a wide variety of different limitation periods provided for under the Act. For negligence cases you are essentially correct, in that the limitation period can run from the point that you discovered the negligence rather than the point it occurred necessarily but unfortunately this is a contractual debt and for this type of debt the Limitation period is 6 years measure from the point you issue a claim. It can be more than frustrating when debts go back beyond this but regrettably the Limitation Act does not make provision for departure from the above.

Joshua :

You can of course make a claim for more than 6 years. They may pay up but if the matter proceeds to court they can defend against payments more than 6 years old I fear.

Joshua :

The WRA 2001 does not make overcharging a criminal offence though I understand the point you make.

Customer:

I have a problem in that I suspect the Supplier is selling the business and planning to try to escape any further responsibility. If he does this can he escape without paying up??

Joshua :

Presumably this is a limited company?

Customer:

Yes

Customer:

If he sells the business do I have any recourse against him to recover money?

Joshua :

Thanks. If he wee to sell the business then the company will remain liable irrespective of who the new shareholders may be. It makes no difference who owns the company in terms of your claim. The risk is that the company goes insolvent as you can only claim against the company assets not the owners personally but if he is planning on selling the business this is presumably unlikely.

Joshua :

Your claim would as above be against the limited company which can proceed irrespective of who owns the company

Joshua :

Is there anything else i can help you with?

Customer:

He has made an appeasing payment which I calculate is less than 40% of what he should pay.

Customer:

Will I have any chance of challenging his figures in court?

Joshua :

May I confirm you have not accepted this in "full and final settlement" and no reference was made in any correspondence to the payment being so?

Customer:

I took the money as a part settlement and a down payment only and advised I would be following on to claim my entitlement, in writing of course.

Joshua :

Thats fine. Do ensure that in respect of any payment you accept you make it clear as you have done that it is expressly not in full and final settlement. You are certainly able to challenge any figures he produces. He is required to serve you with any evidence he intends to rely on well before the hearing to enable you a chance to look at it and respond.

Customer:

He tried to make acceptance a closure point but that was denied. The basis of all his calculations are challenged but he just ignores me!

Joshua :

The small claims process is quite straightforward and no solicitor is required. A judge will make a final determination which will be binding

Customer:

Any way! Thanks for the chat. It has been useful and I am encouraged to proceed further despite continued aggravation from him. I will try to save this as advice!

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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