£52 a month water bill 1 bed flat

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alex282
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I just moved into my first accomodation since being a student (also my first time in England not Scotland), and have signed up to United Utilities. They sent me a water bill of £716 for the next 13.75 months which works out around £52 a month.

I don't have a water meter the letting agent said. I am alone in a 1 bed flat in Blackpool Lancashire with no dishwasher or washing machine and I use the shower for around 3-5 minutes a day so surely this is wrong? I was expecting more like £21-27 per month and have saw people say online that even with whole families living in 2 or 3 bedrooms they are only paying half as much as the bill I have
Last edited by alex282; 1 month ago
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stepheds
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You’re better off getting a water meter installed. Rule of thumb is if there are more rooms than people, it’s cheaper.
We didn’t have a meter when we bought our own home and we were paying a ‘standard’ tariff. Now we have the meter we pay £25 a month and that’s with 2 adults and 2 young children in the house.
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stepheds
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Ultimately though if it’s not your house/flat you do need permission form your landlord to have a meter installed.
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claireestelle
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(Original post by alex282)
I just moved into my first accomodation since being a student (also my first time in England not Scotland), and have signed up to United Utilities. They sent me a water bill of £716 for the next 13.75 months which works out around £52 a month.

I don't have a water meter the letting agent said. I am alone in a 1 bed flat in Blackpool Lancashire with no dishwasher or washing machine and I use the shower for around 3-5 minutes a day so surely this is wrong? I was expecting more like £21-27 per month and have saw people say online that even with whole families living in 2 or 3 bedrooms they are only paying half as much as the bill I have
you should fight for a water meter.
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Rakas21
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Not a shock. When I lived in my flat the water bill was about 40 quid per month.
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alex282
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Looking further into this it seems to be high because it is based on the rateable value of the property in the year 1990, and in 1990 my 1 bedroom flat was classed as a 5 or 6 bedroom house before conversion. Seems like a pretty useless and outdated system to me but that's the UK for you. My next option will be to ask the landlord if I can get a water meter (but it begs the question why have none of the previous tenants or the landlord already done this?). If that is unsuccessful then I can apply to get an assessed rate for a single person dwelling which should be around £275 for the year. However UU says that is only supposed to be possible for those that requested a water meter which was not possible to install, so if the landlord says no I don't really know where I stand
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Joinedup
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See what the landlord says about a meter, lower water bill should make the flat easier to rent and more valuable to own all things being equal.
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stepheds
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(Original post by alex282)
Looking further into this it seems to be high because it is based on the rateable value of the property in the year 1990, and in 1990 my 1 bedroom flat was classed as a 5 or 6 bedroom house before conversion. Seems like a pretty useless and outdated system to me but that's the UK for you. My next option will be to ask the landlord if I can get a water meter (but it begs the question why have none of the previous tenants or the landlord already done this?). If that is unsuccessful then I can apply to get an assessed rate for a single person dwelling which should be around £275 for the year. However UU says that is only supposed to be possible for those that requested a water meter which was not possible to install, so if the landlord says no I don't really know where I stand
We had the same issue with UU and the ‘rateable’ value from out house being built in 1973. Hence why we had the water meter installed and now don’t even pay a fraction of the price. My MIL lives in the next row and still pays the rateable value no matter how many times we’ve told her 🙄
But we own our house so it was easier. Definitely speak to your landlord as he’s receiving no monetary benefit from your water bills anyway so I don’t see why he’d have an issue.
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ThiagoBrigido
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Welcome to the Cowboyland, when is regarding the utility bills.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by alex282)
Looking further into this it seems to be high because it is based on the rateable value of the property in the year 1990, and in 1990 my 1 bedroom flat was classed as a 5 or 6 bedroom house before conversion. Seems like a pretty useless and outdated system to me but that's the UK for you. My next option will be to ask the landlord if I can get a water meter (but it begs the question why have none of the previous tenants or the landlord already done this?). If that is unsuccessful then I can apply to get an assessed rate for a single person dwelling which should be around £275 for the year. However UU says that is only supposed to be possible for those that requested a water meter which was not possible to install, so if the landlord says no I don't really know where I stand
Re-rating would essentially mean increasing council tax in the south east even if it would be lower in some parts of the north. Not particularly politically popular.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by alex282)
I just moved into my first accomodation since being a student (also my first time in England not Scotland), and have signed up to United Utilities. They sent me a water bill of £716 for the next 13.75 months which works out around £52 a month.

I don't have a water meter the letting agent said. I am alone in a 1 bed flat in Blackpool Lancashire with no dishwasher or washing machine and I use the shower for around 3-5 minutes a day so surely this is wrong? I was expecting more like £21-27 per month and have saw people say online that even with whole families living in 2 or 3 bedrooms they are only paying half as much as the bill I have
You really need to either insist on having a water meter or paying a fair amount for the water based on usage. £52 is crazy money for a one bedroomed flat.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Re-rating would essentially mean increasing council tax in the south east even if it would be lower in some parts of the north. Not particularly politically popular.
on the face of it it'd be popular outside London and the South East - which is where most people live, however I can't see the relevance, the old water rates aren't connected to council tax bands... and tbh council tax manages to cope quite sensibly with properties being divided into flats.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Joinedup)
on the face of it it'd be popular outside London and the South East - which is where most people live, however I can't see the relevance, the old water rates aren't connected to council tax bands... and tbh council tax manages to cope quite sensibly with properties being divided into flats.
I could be wrong but I believe the eatable value was used for both. The South East and Greater London would thus be looking at large increases. Purely for efficiency we should really have water meters in every property anyway.
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(Original post by Rakas21)
I could be wrong but I believe the eatable value was used for both. The South East and Greater London would thus be looking at large increases. Purely for efficiency we should really have water meters in every property anyway.

Well TBH national re-rating isn't going to happen...

however the CAB seems to think that it's possible to query a rateable value based water bill when a property has been divided into flats after the last rate was set https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/co...thout-a-meter/

Don't know how common a problem it is for a landlord to refuse to allow a water meter to be fitted... IMO the bill payer (usually tenant) should be able to decide and the landlord shouldn't be able to stop them without a compelling reason - the slight fly in the ointment is that getting a meter fitted is afaik irreversible and a metered property can never go back to the old rates based billing.
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alex282
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I don't see why they can't just used the assessed charge rates based on number of occupants/bedrooms from the beginning. I'm pretty sure in Scotland it goes by the council tax band and is part of the council tax bill, but in England the water bill is separate. Or like someone said having water meters as standard across the board like with the Smartmeter rollout would be good in these times of reducing waste
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Rakas21
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(Original post by alex282)
I don't see why they can't just used the assessed charge rates based on number of occupants/bedrooms from the beginning. I'm pretty sure in Scotland it goes by the council tax band and is part of the council tax bill, but in England the water bill is separate. Or like someone said having water meters as standard across the board like with the Smartmeter rollout would be good in these times of reducing waste
The water bill is separate but still attached to the same valuation that provides you your council tax band. The difference is that the state knows how many people live in a property (in theory) while water providers do not.

They tried to charge everything based on occupation in the 1980's, it was called the Poll Tax and it was politically unpopular. Ironically its replacement (council tax) was put aside for the Poll Tax because it was thought it would be the most unpopular option.
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