About the court case
We saw ourselves as an 'agent', working on behalf of Thames Water. Each bill was calculated by Thames Water and we had no say in the amount of the bill. We simply passed the bill on to tenants and collected payment along with the rent.
However, the court decided we were a 'water reseller' and not an 'agent'. A water reseller is a ‘middleman’ – someone who receives a supply of water and sewerage services from the water company and sells it on to the users. Where a landlord is acting as a water reseller, there are laws to stop landlords overcharging tenants.
We didn’t knowingly overcharge tenants, because we thought we were acting as an agent and not a water reseller. Thames Water calculated each bill and we were only responsible for sending it out and collecting payment.
However, as the court decided that we were a water reseller, this means we mistakenly overcharged tenants by the amount of the commission Thames Water paid us - plus the allowance given for empty homes - which added up to 22.1% of the total charge. That’s why we’re refunding every affected tenant 22.1% of their water charges, with interest, for the period from April 2001 to July 2013.
All of our current tenants who don’t have a water meter are affected - about 39,000 households - as well as people living in temporary accommodation and anyone who has been a tenant during the refund period from 2001 to 2013.
Page last updated: 05 March 2020