Council to refund tenants £28.6m after High Court water overcharging ruling
Thursday, 09 June 2016 07:00
The London Borough of Southwark has decided to repay 48,000 current and former tenants £28.6m following a High Court ruling earlier this year that it had overcharged for water and sewerage for 12 years.
In March this year Mr Justice Newey ruled that:
1. Unless and until a 2013 Deed (stating that the council was not a water reseller under the relevant regulations) took effect, the relationship between Thames Water and Southwark was not one of principal and agent but involved Southwark buying water and sewerage services from Thames Water and re-selling them to its tenants;
2. As a result, the Water Resale Order 2006 applied and served to limit what tenants could be charged; and
3. The amounts that Southwark charged the claimant, Kim Jones, (and other tenants with unmetered water supplies) exceeded the "maximum charge" allowed under the 2006 Order.
“However, there are approximately 330,000 other tenants in the Thames Water region entitled to claim refunds. Any tenant in the Thames Water region who is liable to pay a water charge to a local authority landlord or to a housing association landlord is likely to be able to make a claim. Tenants in this positon should seek legal advice as soon as possible.”