Water company billing my tenant £5100 for emergency repairs!

Water company billing my tenant £5100 for emergency repairs!

8:51 AM, 17th August 2020, About 3 years ago 16

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Has anyone any experience of this? My tenant received the below email after asking the Water company to contact me. She told me she did get letters beforehand saying Emergency work to be undertaken due to a leak.

I’ve had this before on houses with shared drains and let the council get it done, and send us the bill ie £300 divided by 6 houses, £50 each.

But this one, they have to bill the tenant apparently, the service user. The bill is £5100, 3 houses, £1700 each.

I will pay for the gal if I have to as she’s good, been with me approx 10 years, can see her being with me another 5 years, and I’m trying to get her to buy the house off me as she is now working and I’m gonna pay her 5% deposit, so all good with us two.

I don’t want the girl paying and I feel the water company should be billing me then I will argue the amount.

Has anyone any experience of this?

I will pay if I have to, but £1700 for something I had no knowledge about hurts the mind. Is there any argument I have? I’m not leaving it for the part-time working good relationship tenant to pay, so no suggestions on that, please. However, if I can get us both out of it somehow, I’d like to know.

My main argument I had no notice whatsoever, yes the girl did, but she never thought they’d bill her direct and it would be £5100 divided by the 3 houses.

Below the email, I’d also found this bit of info on the internet.

Hello XXXX

Thanks for your email.

We legally issue the section 75 and the charges to the consumer which is the person living in the property using the water supply. Therefore, the bill is in your name and will remain in your name unless the landlord contacts us in writing requesting to take responsibility.

I hope this helps.
Many thanks

XXX Severn Trent Water
Customer Leak Support
Email: customerleaksupport@severntrent.co.uk
Contact number: 0345 266 0036

——————- Original Message ——————-
From: XXXX
Received: 04/08/2020 16:30
To: customer.care@severntrent.co.uk; customer.care@severntrent.co.uk
Subject: Account number XXXX

Hi regarding payment over due for work that got carried out on property XXXX street , I’m getting the letters but I actually don’t own the property this will need to re directed to the owner /Lanlord thanks .

Water Authority Section 75 Notice – Leaking Mains Water Pipe

A section 75 notice must allow at least seven days for any works specified to be taken.

Crucially for landlords, the notice may only be served on the “consumer” [1]. As it turns out therefore, in this case we’ve not had any notice from the water authority as it can only be served on the consumer which is our tenant. As a result, we are not bound by the 14 days.

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Mick Roberts

7:10 AM, 18th August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Kate Mellor at 17/08/2020 - 17:51
I agree totally. She's on minimum wage, benefits etc. How can she suddenly be asked to pay a big bill which in my/our argument should be the house owners responsibility. But if that's how Severn Trent do it, billing the tenant, then I with the tenant are going to use that as a defence.
I spoke to her & Severn Trent yesterday, told her in no way will she be paying this bill, been with me 10 years or so, more to come, hopefully buy the house off me in future, I'm not gonna' crap on her (Be nice if they did it to a bad tenant), but I said Severn Trent want to see her income expenditure, if we can prove she's not got anything left, they view it on case by case basis, so that's our next step.
And I repeat again, I will not be leaving her to pay this bill, not good tenants, but if we can defend it using her low income, we shall do. £1700 a lot of money of which I wasn't told about & like some here, may have had chance to fix. One neighbour is a tenant & he's apparently gave his Landlord his bill who wasn't a happy bunny.

I've had several bills over the years from companies as house owner, so this one billing tenant was a new one. I'd have thought they would have at least sent me the bill/notification at the very outset even if their rules are to bill tenant, as I could have at least acted at beginning.

Mike T

21:07 PM, 19th August 2020, About 3 years ago

Just out of interest - How come the bill split between 3 houses ? Do they 'share' one meter ? Usually the cost of anything your side of the meter is the owners responsibility. In which case where was the actually leak or repair (replacement pipe ??). A little puzzling Mick. Regards

Mick Roberts

5:56 AM, 20th August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike T at 19/08/2020 - 21:07
Apparently, the leak on the feeding pipe was in an alleyway feeding 3 houses.
Wasn't our side of the meter, I'm sure she hasn't got a meter either.

Mike T

19:36 PM, 21st August 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 20/08/2020 - 05:56
I would think it possible to dispute the whole thing - depending on who owns the alleyway . If jointly owned by the 3 houses then I can see why the bill is being split 3 ways. If however it is public highway, and maintained as such by the local authority, it may be a different matter . best wishes in any event.

Paul Claassen

12:28 PM, 5th November 2022, About 5 months ago

Similar issue here, but as a tenant of a local authority.
My rented property from Nottingham City Council (ALMO- Nottingham City Homes NCH) had a repair to a leaking mains water pipe at a private property some 4 doors down from my home. This pipe was a junction supplying some 10 houses.
Severn Trent completed the repairs and billed each house (row of terrace).
My tenancy contract states I am not liable for any repairs to pipes outside the property. NCH when I phone them agree I shouldn't pay...but give me no physical evidence of this or that they are paying the bill...just that they will get back to me- they don't even after putting an official complaint in!
Severn Trent have sent me a bill under section 75 and now threatening court proceedings as NCH haven't paid the bill and will not take steps to communicate with ST.

Mick Roberts

6:14 AM, 6th November 2022, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Claassen at 05/11/2022 - 12:28
That's NCH for u. Never do what they say they going to do.
And u would think the Govt would do something about the billing of property repairs down to what may be low earning and Benefit tenants, a £1700 bill each, for a house they don't earn.

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