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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11745
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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We sold a property (Old Byre OB) in 2001 in Scotland, at the

Customer Question

We sold a property (Old Byre OB) in 2001 in Scotland, at the time of the sale the water supply was supplied from the metered supply at our adjacent hotel. One of the conditions of the sale was for the new owners of the OB to arrange for private connection of their water supply to the mains supply on the street as soon as reasonably possible. In the mean time, the new owners would pay a fee (£20 per month) for the use of our water, as our water was metered at a commercial premises, our costs were considerably higher than those of a domestic water supply, domestic water rates in Scotland are automatically included onto council tax bills.
The new owners never paid any money towards the water and in 2008 we installed a meter which recorded the Old Byre's water usage, it was not connected to any other water supply in our hotel. The new owners in 2012 moved away and rented the Old Byre. The new tenants were not made aware of the shared supply or the need to be careful with their water usage as it was from metered water. In 2014 we were presented with a bill of over £10,000 from our present water supplier (Aimera) for arrears of water usage. This prompted us to re-visit the issue of the shared supply and informed the tenants of the situation, they told us they would contribute monthly to the water supply, to date we have received any contribution. An invoice was sent to the new tenants on 8th April 2015, still no payment. The council tax bill from the OB owners and tenants showed that the local council had been charging for water and sewerage since 2008. We wrote to the council to verify our position as owners of the shared supply and they informed us that a refund of charges had been made to the OB owners and tenants accordingly. I asked the OB owners via email whether we could now have the refunded water charges sent to them by the council in addition to past charges from 2001 to 2008 where no refund had been awarded but the water had still been used without payment, I was told that they were seeking legal advice. Up to this point through friendly emails to and from the OB owners, we were assured that all water charges due to us would be paid. Today we received a solicitors letter from OB Owners stating that a payment had been made of £20 per month by OB owners to us as per arrangement at time of sale in 2001, this is false as we have never received any payment, plus if we accepted the payment (£1400) awarded by the council then the OB owners would not be liable for any other charges (2001 - 2008). There is no mention of sorting out a separate water supply and the tenants continue to use our metered water without any payments being made.
What are our rights in terms of cutting off water supply to this property due to non payment and reclaiming water charges from 2001 - 2008? We do not wish to accept offer of refund if it means that we get nothing for the 7 years of water charges (calculated at £27 per month not £20) prior to 2008.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
From what you say you have a contract for £20 per month from the owners and you can sue on this. As they are in breach of th contract you are not longer in my view required to supply them with water from your supply and you can disconnect it.
Happy to discuss further
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

How do I go about suing them?

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
You sue in the sheriff court. The details and rules etc are at www.scotcourts.gov.uk but you should always instruct a solicitor for a court case.