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High bills due to water leak

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It started when I contacted Yorkshire Water regarding my unusually high bill over several years. They sent out several crews who eventually conceded that the meter was still registering running water even though my supply was turned off at the stop tap.

They then dug up the entire length of the external pipework and concluded the leak must be in the property as their pipework was ok.

So, I called the housing association and a plumber confirmed the water boards findings.

Cue even more digging and an eventual cure to the leak. Now this is where the fun starts. Having paid almost double what my bill should have been I enquired with the housing association how they would reimburse me for the high bills I'd been receiving. They told me they would not consider any reimbursement as I should have noticed the increase and report the issue sooner.

The problem is it's my first property and I'd no idea what an average water bill should be, so I paid it every month assuming it would be the same as everyone else on the street. It's only after a neighbour told me her metered bill was half what I've been paying that the alarm bells started ringing.

SYHA are still adamant they are not responsible for any overpayments. Has anyone else had an issue of this kind?

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Where was the leak, did you not notice damp or running water?

 

No surprise SYHA deny responsibility, doesn't cost them anymore that way.

You might need to talk to CAB or one of the housing charities to get an idea of your rights.

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Does your building insurance cover it? Do they have a legal advice line?

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I think SYHA's stance is correct. You are contacted with YW for supply of water at the edge of their network. You are contracted with SYHA for repairs to be made once they are aware that a repair is needed. Therefore you bear the risk of paying for water loss until a reasonable period has passed in which SYHA can repair a leak once aware.

 

Hopefully someone will find a reason to say I'm wrong.

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You can try to talk to Yorkshire Water and explain your problem, I can say from experience that they can take a sympathetic approach and decrease your bills for wasted water, especially if its the first time that this has happened.

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The leak was underground. It's where the point of entry of the water supply is connected to the house. It's about 2 feet underground and was encased in solid concrete. At no stage was a water leak apparent.

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I think SYHA's stance is correct. You are contacted with YW for supply of water at the edge of their network. You are contracted with SYHA for repairs to be made once they are aware that a repair is needed. Therefore you bear the risk of paying for water loss until a reasonable period has passed in which SYHA can repair a leak once aware.

 

Hopefully someone will find a reason to say I'm wrong.

 

Do they not also have a responsibility to ensure that the property is properly maintained? Do they have a responsibility to ensure that all services are in proper working order?

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Was it leaking before you took over the property? if so, they are responsible.

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When they handed over the property there was nothing mentioned about any leak. SYHA were supposed to have checked all of the property prior to handing over the keys.

To be honest unless the previous tennent had reported it they wouldn't have picked up on it.

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"They told me they would not consider any reimbursement as I should have noticed the increase and report the issue sooner".

 

There was no increase to notice throughout the previous years.

 

Officially, only at the point when YW conceded that water was still running with the stop tap turned off were you in a position to know that there was a problem and inform SYHA. I say officially because although your neighbour mentioned her small bills, as far as you knew she could have hardly ever been at home. Obviously what your neighbour mentioned turned out to be valid.

 

It remains the responsibility of SYHA. What they are saying is a cop out. I feel sure any decent solicitor would tell you the same.

 

The foundations of the property could have eventually been affected if left in abeyance. Ultimately you may have saved SYHA many thousands of pounds if you had not brought the matter to their attention.

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It started when I contacted Yorkshire Water regarding my unusually high bill over several years. They sent out several crews who eventually conceded that the meter was still registering running water even though my supply was turned off at the stop tap.

They then dug up the entire length of the external pipework and concluded the leak must be in the property as their pipework was ok.

So, I called the housing association and a plumber confirmed the water boards findings.

Cue even more digging and an eventual cure to the leak. Now this is where the fun starts. Having paid almost double what my bill should have been I enquired with the housing association how they would reimburse me for the high bills I'd been receiving. They told me they would not consider any reimbursement as I should have noticed the increase and report the issue sooner.

The problem is it's my first property and I'd no idea what an average water bill should be, so I paid it every month assuming it would be the same as everyone else on the street. It's only after a neighbour told me her metered bill was half what I've been paying that the alarm bells started ringing.

SYHA are still adamant they are not responsible for any overpayments. Has anyone else had an issue of this kind?

 

 

We had our toilet leaking due to the ballcock not sealing. The water was running down the rear of the pan and was invisible to see. When the council plumber turned up he put a screwdriver end up to the rear of the pan and then you could see the water going around it.

 

I contacted the water company and told them of the problem, result was they charged us an average bill instead of the original £100 more expensive one.

 

Angel1.

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Food for thought. Thanks everyone. Citizens advice is my next port of call.

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