Water rates once tenancy ends

Need some help with an above issue. Landlord wrote into contrwct regarding water rates to be charged yearly. We agreed to pay monthly as a yearly cost would amount to too much. The Landlord agreed to this but never charged. They are now trying to claim it as a lump sum from the initial deposit. Is this allowed?

You mean you never paid it and neither party did anything about it? Yes you owe the money and yes he can take it from deposit.

It was your responsibility to make payment to the landlord for the agreed amount and frequency.

1 Like

The Landlord stated they would pay it. It was never transfered into our names we never never sent any correspondence regarding it and it was never brought up. The issue isn’t paying the amount its that following this the Landlord took possession of the property and is now trying to claim the entire balance in one go. The original discussion was it would be paid in increments.

So agree with the landlord now that you will pay it over the next 12 months.

Best bet is to negotiate as David suggests. Problem is Ll has to take on risk with you possibly defaulting so not in his favour.

We were sent nothing at all over a 4 year period. I don’t think its fair to suddenly drop that all at once it was meant to be periodic

I think in that case it would be fair to pay back over a period of time, maybe not 4 years but certainly spread out

If you have agreed to make monthly payments but never actually made any (irrespective of if a demand was made) then you owe the outstanding balance. Its no different to paying the rent. There is no need for a landlord to ask for the rent due every month. Its an obligation on you. As others have suggested, best to be proactive and open negotiations with the landlord.


You have not been sent anything and never questioned this? I think sudden charge is fair as you have failed to question! If my bank stops charging me mortgage or any utility stops coming on my way then I immediately question it. Also I think monthly is too much of an ask as water bills are not monthly. At least you should have put some monthly money aside.

Thank you for your help. We are both contractually bound. As I said I have no trouble making the payments once the amounts are confirmed via bill records. But to me it would be like a credit card company giving me a card and then sending me one bill in 4 years. So they have all the information in there possession during this time period and have never disclosed anything. I paid my Electric and gas etc monthly why would this be different? Its not contractually stated that it will be required in a lump sum. I have also found out she has done the same thing to previous tenants. I just don’t want to be bullied. I’m sure I have rights of some sort.

At the end it is the money you owe and it will be better if you clear if you have the means. Do not consider this is bullying not even remotely the case in my personal view, it would be bullying if he asked for 4 years in advance!

1 Like

Things like this are always better sorted by agreement. Once courts are involved it becomes high risk and expensive.
You don’t want to take LL to court and he doesn’t want to take you.
Agree lump sum then instalments?
I would expect to pay it down within a year.

Considered a loan if paying in lump sum an issue?

You have to take some of the responsibility as you didn’t query why not being billed. You must’ve known it would catch up with you.

Did part of you perhaps think it was being overlooked and forgotten about by LL? “Keep your head down and it doesn’t exist”


No I’m an engineer so did work on various properties LL owns on there behalf Gas safe certs, repairs etc. it was very give and take there were things I would cover and visa versa. Initially with the relationship the way it was it wasn’t an issue things changed very abruptly and that’s when the problem started in the grand scheme of things the amounts were insignificant. But have since learnt im not the first tenant this has happened to its a rolling pattern. I repainted the entire flat twice during the time I was there as well as a host of other works thats if the painting alone was charged correctly your looking at around £1400 a time I did that for free as it was never done prior to me I moving in I was given a list of repairs needed. Initially good relationship so give some take some. I used to work for LL in this capacity as I’m self employed but eventually stopped. Its now because a new tenant is in they are in the same position having to paint etc. LL will have to pay for something and would rather use the deposit to do it. There’s alot your unaware of. I have no problem paying the money but 4 years in one hit when they also failed to submit anything is a bit much. If I got a credit card I wouldn’t expect my first bill in 4 years time.

I allowed it to happen but it more now seems it was pre meditated

That’s what the deposit is for. Unpaid bills, whether that’s rent, damage or otherwise, so don’t think you can quibble about LL retaining it.

If you were spending on a credit card and did not receive a bill, you wouldn’t call up the company and ask?

Everyone sometimes makes mistakes.

What if their mistake had been to have charged you double every month.

Would you not have said anything about this for four years either?

1 Like

Evening thats all obsolete now. Whole thing is explained was going through past emails and the Landlord actually confirmed she would cover the water rates as it was only £30 per month this is why we were never sent anything during the 4 years so now out of spite she is trying to bill us. Still the same situation but further reason why it shouldn’t be a lump sum recovery. As I said earlier on we had a very good relationship hence why this wasn’t abnormal at the time. The rest of the email was regarding her lowering the rent and then wanting to raise it again. Some tenants had damaged something in one of her other properties and as I didn’t report on them…(This was not what I was employed for) she though It would be a fitting punishment but as you can see the water rates were still a ‘freebie’.

As she agreed to pay for the water rates and you have evidence of this, she can’t now bill you for them due to the legal principle of promissory estoppel.


Good Morning,

Thank for all your input it has been a bonus being able to hear an unbiased opinion. Much appreciated Sir,

Generally outside of this If it wasn’t myself involved I would actually find this quite an interest situation. I still hold the same stance my aim is to agree an affordable payment plan I am not trying to cheat anyone out anything. It just a shame this couldn’t have been done amicably in the first place. Its gone to TDS now so we will see how it goes hopefully we can all just come to an agreement.

If you like I will keep you posted. Just for research purposes.

If you’re not liable for the water rates, why do you want to agree a payment plan for them?

1 Like

Assuming this was agreed and unless there has been a superseding agreement since this message then I don’t see how you are liable for the water rates.

1 Like