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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:56 pm 
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I live in a rented Leasehold apartment and have just noticed my water bill has a "Surface Water Charge" amounting to around £10/qtr.

Question is, as my landlord pays quite a tidy figure to the property management company (building owners), who are also liable for the exterior of the building, and I expect they will also have a water bill containing Surface Water Charge"?

Admittedly, I do have a degree of roof, but I bet the apartment below me, with no roof pays the same charge (maybe without knowledge?), and those below them?

How would I best go about finding out if I am in fact liable for the charge? Do I just call the "water board" (Yorkshire Water) and explain my situation?

Or am I better off accosting someone from the lower floors, and interrogating then on their Water bill? :lol:

The reason I ask, is I know these utility providers charge this to all properties, unless you contest it, which is easy with a house that is just one property, but a "shared property" that is also owned by others???

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:23 pm 
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With apartments and flats standing charges such as this one are normally shared between all the units. Repairs to the fabric of the building are also shared in most cases (if the roof needed repairing the person on the ground floor will have to stump up a percentage even though the roof may be several floors above them).
Have a look at your lease, it should be in there, or talk to your landlord about it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:01 pm 
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All water bills will include this charge. It's for dealing with and treating rainwater and other surface water from any part of the property that runs into the public sewer. There was a court case many years ago when it was upheld that you could be exempt from this charge if ALL the surface water from your property was sent straight to soakaways within the property boundary. If you live in a block of flats, it's unlikely that you would have a soakaway as planners are not keen on soakaways dealing with run-off from carparks. But I retired 8 years ago, so I may be out of date now.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:11 pm 
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sgould wrote:
All water bills will include this charge. It's for dealing with and treating rainwater and other surface water from any part of the property that runs into the public sewer. There was a court case many years ago when it was upheld that you could be exempt from this charge if ALL the surface water from your property was sent straight to soakaways within the property boundary. If you live in a block of flats, it's unlikely that you would have a soakaway as planners are not keen on soakaways dealing with run-off from carparks. But I retired 8 years ago, so I may be out of date now.


I realise this, but how many charges are being taken? Property has approx. 40 apartments, all paying "Band A (1sqm to 500sqm), however the overall roof area of the block is 6,500sqm. As such, they are collecting approx. 70% more than actual cost/area? :argh: :evil:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:32 pm 
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Not unusual IME.

Its the lowest amount they can charge you for. Quids in for them. Only thing they can do if a building has multiple freeholders.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:37 pm 
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beardydave wrote:
Not unusual IME.

Its the lowest amount they can charge you for. Quids in for them. Only thing they can do if a building has multiple freeholders.


What if there are no Freeholders?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:18 am 
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Your landlord has to lease from somebody. The building may be owned by one owner or several, but it will be owned. Big new developments get snapped up by hedge funds and banks as investments.

Someone(s) will have the freehold. If they were generous they could renegotiate the water rate for surface water and pay it on behalf of the residents and increase the service charge accordingly. Chances are they dont care so long as they arent paying it.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:43 am 
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My surface water charge for a 2 bed semi is about £140 a year so in the scheme of things, £40 a year is pretty good. Assume you arent metered for your water?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:39 am 
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Check as Will says if surface water goes into a soakaway - will depend on age of the building - if it does then you can get an exemption. If other residents un-happy with services charges then you can challenge through LVT. leasehold valuation tribunal.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:36 am 
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My surface charge for a 3 bed detached is £80 a year, that's with the discount for a percentage of runoffs going to soakaways.

So as above £40 a year is not all that bad.

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