Jones – v – London Borough of Southwark  EWHC 457 (Ch) 4 March 2016
It was revealed in this case that London Borough of Southwark and a number of other local authorities regarded themselves as agents in the collection of water rates for Thames Water but that they were in fact re-sellers and thus subject to the Water Resale Order 2006 which imposes maximum charges on re-sellers and allows only for modest administration charges.
London Borough of Southwark, in this case, had overcharged Ms Jones.
Tenants can easily run up arrears in these cases since water rates are not covered by housing benefit.
Not only is this very important for tenants of Council houses and flats but many Gypsies and Travellers on local authority rented sites are faced with extremely high water rates charges. This case may be of assistance to them but it should also be noted that there may be challenges on grounds of reasonableness (and potentially other challenges) to these very high charges. Gypsies and Travellers on rented sites faced with such high charges should seek legal advice.
For an excellent discussion of the case of the Jones case see the Nearly Legal Housing Law blog at:- http://nearlylegal.co.uk/2016/03/nor-any-drop-to-drink/.