Water and Sewerage Charges

December 3rd, 2019 by James Goudie KC

Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames v Moss (2019) EWHC 3261 (Ch) was concerned with council houses and flats where the supply of water is not metered, and where the water authority does not bill the council tenants, but does bill the Council. Mr Moss, a secure tenant, was obliged to pay “water charges” to the Council, his landlord. The issue was as to the calculation of those charges, pursuant to the tenancy agreement, whether Mr Moss had been overcharged over some years, contrary to the Water Resale Order 2006, as Mr Jones had been in Jones v Southwark LBC (2016) PTSR 1011. Morgan J in the Kingston case concluded, at paragraph 144, amongst other matters, that: (1) The result of the tenancy agreement was that the Council was a “Re-seller” for the purposes of the Water Resale Orders; (2) The Council was bound by the maximum charges provisions of those Orders; (3) the Council had charged Mr Moss sums in excess of those maximum charges; and (4) He had a right to recover overpayments.

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