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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My partner, Karin, has property which is divided into a shop

Customer Question

My partner, Karin, has property which is divided into a shop and two flats. The tenant in the shop complained about the water cost to South West Water, who looked into it. They found the water supplied all the property on one source. and one meter. The water company then froze the account, which was paid up to the date of the query. They then issued a refund of £6399.55 to this tenant, who did not ask for one, the water company did this off their own back. They then created another account in her (Karin) name and then wrote to her in letter form, not a bill, but a demand, asking for £7116.66.
The two flats (different tenants) had been, in the meantime been receiving credits from the water company, so didn't worry about (conveniently), a water bill. According to the water company there was only one meter, but the credits were being issued on another meter, which does service the property but was not being used.
Our question is, this dispute is surely between my partner (landlord) and the tenant to resolve, and not for SW Water to step in and take this action. There were no arrears of water costs so it wasn't as if she was having to pick up a water bill for none payment of services. If she goes back to the tenant and asks him for a proportion of his share (majority), he then advises he has spent it, she is put in a difficult position, by the actions of the water company. How can they just issue an account in her name, which she didn't request or authorise and just send her a demand for monies,that were not outstanding in the first place.
My partner suffers from MS and this stress is causing her problems. This property is her pension and doesn't have this sort of money to pay out.
I have written authority,also lodged with SW Water, to deal with this on her behalf.
Kelvin Gordon
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello Kelvin my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : Please confirm there is just one meter that supplies the properties?
JACUSTOMER-blb1i7n0- :

There are two, but only on was active at that time

Alex Watts : Ok. The credits that have been applied. Is that the other meter?
JACUSTOMER-blb1i7n0- :


Alex Watts : Ok. So what does the other meter do?
JACUSTOMER-blb1i7n0- :

The large credit is for the active meter the smaller credits are for the no active onr

Alex Watts : how does the inactive one work?
Alex Watts : When it's on?
JACUSTOMER-blb1i7n0- :

Is wasn't doing any thing. it was disconected within the property

Alex Watts : ok.
Alex Watts : have you written a formal complaint to STW yet?
JACUSTOMER-blb1i7n0- :


JACUSTOMER-blb1i7n0- :

And several convertsations

JACUSTOMER-blb1i7n0- :

How can they just create an account just like that and the present them with a bill?

Alex Watts : Have they given you a final response?
JACUSTOMER-blb1i7n0- :


JACUSTOMER-blb1i7n0- :

No one bother to come back tlo me

Alex Watts : You should write to this address Severn Trent Water Ltd,Sherbourne House, St Martins Road, Finham, Coventry, CV3 6SD
Alex Watts : They will investigate and you will get a final response.
JACUSTOMER-blb1i7n0- :

We are South west water

Alex Watts : Sorry I read it was severn Trent. Hold on
Alex Watts : South West Water, PO Box 4, Exeter EX2 7HS
Alex Watts : If that does not resolve the matter you can take it further by registering a complaint with
Alex Watts : The consumer council is independent and can review your complaint at
Alex Watts : Renslade House, Bonhay Road,Exeter EX4 3AW
Alex Watts : If that does not resolve the matter then you can complain to the reglautor who is OFWAT
JACUSTOMER-blb1i7n0- :

The question is

Alex Watts : one of the three steps should resolve the matter
JACUSTOMER-blb1i7n0- :

Is it legal for a utility company, just to create an account without authority, and send someone a bill?

Alex Watts : They have authority so yes they can do that. They don't need permission
Alex Watts : But the circumstances is what need investigating .
Alex Watts : you have a three stage process and should follow that.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
JACUSTOMER-blb1i7n0- :

So they can put someone in a difficult situation, just like that?

Alex Watts : Sadly yes. Which is why the consumer council and OFWAT exist
Alex Watts : Can I clairfy anything for you?
Alex Watts :

You have rated POOR SERVICE. What else is it you want to know?