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GBdamo

Rateable Value

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Right then.

I lay down a challenge to the great and good of the HPC off topic forum.

I have recently queried my water bill with the Utility Company and have been informed that my bill is based on Rateable Value. This I already knew, the phone conversation goes something like this.

Me; (After handing over all personal info barring the length of my pork sword) Yes I’m aware the bill is calculated on RV, what is the RV that the bill is calculated on?

UC; Oh let me check for you, you flat has an RV of £144.

Me; And where did that number come from.

UC; (Very long explanation which basically told me that which I already ) The number is based on the old rates system where a property was rated according to its rentable value. This was done in 1973 and revised in 1990.

Me; Thank you, could you direct me to a source where I can confirm my RV against a published list?

UC; I’m sorry but no such list exists anymore.

Me; So my bill is base on an arbitrary number that you tell me is correct but I cannot confirm?

UC; Yes, unfortunately we get asked this question quite a lot.

Me; Oh, thanks. What are my options then.

UC; The only thing you can do if you feel the charge is excessive is to get a water meter fitted.

Me; Ok, thanks for your help, bye.

All I want to know is how to confirm this RV number. Surely these numbers still exist in an official form.

As I live in a rented flat I would have to get the landlords permission to fit a water meter, which is hassle and I’m lazy.

BTW, this has stumped two MSE threads to date. Surely your better than them pussies.

Damo

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I don't think they are freely available. They were in the deeds when I bought somewhere.

This is the ofwat position:

How can I make sure that my bill is based on the correct rateable value?

In 1973 local authorities compiled a list of rateable values for all properties in their area. Amendments and new additions to the list up to 31 March 1990 were sent to the water authorities to update their records. You can ask your water company to check its record of your rateable value.

ofwat

You can try your local council to see if they have the original list, but having had some close experience of council record keeping I would say don't bother.

If you want to confirm it then go to another water board operating in your area and ask for an estimated bill based on RV, asking what the RV is. If it's the same then that's that.

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I don't think they are freely available. They were in the deeds when I bought somewhere.

This is the ofwat position:

How can I make sure that my bill is based on the correct rateable value?

In 1973 local authorities compiled a list of rateable values for all properties in their area. Amendments and new additions to the list up to 31 March 1990 were sent to the water authorities to update their records. You can ask your water company to check its record of your rateable value.

ofwat

You can try your local council to see if they have the original list, but having had some close experience of council record keeping I would say don't bother.

If you want to confirm it then go to another water board operating in your area and ask for an estimated bill based on RV, asking what the RV is. If it's the same then that's that.

Unfortunately there isn't another water company, i don't think. Is swithching water possible in other areas then?

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The former rating authority should have retained the 1973 valuation list for your area, they have a statutory duty to do so. Last time I tried to inspect one of these it rapidly became apparrent to me that they had thrown it away. The VOA threw away their copies because they were instructed that the statutory duty to retain them now rested with the rating authority. The VOA might have some informal records that would help. Try writing a polite letter to your local office. There is a chance of it getting to someone who has been there long enough to know what you are talking about and of that person being of sufficient goodwill to help even though it is not their job.

Use of the 1973 list for water bills was supposed to be a temporary measure while we all went over to water meters, that was in 1990.

If your entry in the list is wrong thats tough, there is no legal process by which it can be changed since the repeal of the General Rate Act 1967.

What a c0ck up.

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Right then.

I lay down a challenge to the great and good of the HPC off topic forum.

I have recently queried my water bill with the Utility Company and have been informed that my bill is based on Rateable Value. This I already knew, the phone conversation goes something like this.

Me; (After handing over all personal info barring the length of my pork sword) Yes I’m aware the bill is calculated on RV, what is the RV that the bill is calculated on?

UC; Oh let me check for you, you flat has an RV of £144.

Me; And where did that number come from.

UC; (Very long explanation which basically told me that which I already ) The number is based on the old rates system where a property was rated according to its rentable value. This was done in 1973 and revised in 1990.

Me; Thank you, could you direct me to a source where I can confirm my RV against a published list?

UC; I’m sorry but no such list exists anymore.

Me; So my bill is base on an arbitrary number that you tell me is correct but I cannot confirm?

UC; Yes, unfortunately we get asked this question quite a lot.

Me; Oh, thanks. What are my options then.

UC; The only thing you can do if you feel the charge is excessive is to get a water meter fitted.

Me; Ok, thanks for your help, bye.

All I want to know is how to confirm this RV number. Surely these numbers still exist in an official form.

As I live in a rented flat I would have to get the landlords permission to fit a water meter, which is hassle and I’m lazy.

BTW, this has stumped two MSE threads to date. Surely your better than them pussies.

Damo

I was under the impression that a tenant could get a water meter even if his LL didn't want to. Can't bring to mind the actual provision though. Even then, you should probably try to get your LL to agree to it as it will be beneficial to his property most likely as it will probably produce lower bills for his tenants. If it doesn't, you can go back to the old RV method.

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The former rating authority should have retained the 1973 valuation list for your area, they have a statutory duty to do so. Last time I tried to inspect one of these it rapidly became apparrent to me that they had thrown it away. The VOA threw away their copies because they were instructed that the statutory duty to retain them now rested with the rating authority. The VOA might have some informal records that would help. Try writing a polite letter to your local office. There is a chance of it getting to someone who has been there long enough to know what you are talking about and of that person being of sufficient goodwill to help even though it is not their job.

Use of the 1973 list for water bills was supposed to be a temporary measure while we all went over to water meters, that was in 1990.

If your entry in the list is wrong thats tough, there is no legal process by which it can be changed since the repeal of the General Rate Act 1967.

What a c0ck up.

Cheers Freeholder,

I have looked at the VOA website and the only list commercial rateable values so it would apear you are right in that they have probably thrown away their list.

I guess my points are that the utility company is allowed to charge on an arbitrary number that can no longer be checked and that my only recourse is to fit a water meter.

If utility companies are allowed to charge by a method you'd have thought they would have to have some kind of audit trail whereby the validity of that process can be validated.

It's also the 'yes your probably being ripped off but there's nothing we or you can do about it' attitude that pisses me off.

Damo

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I was under the impression that a tenant could get a water meter even if his LL didn't want to. Can't bring to mind the actual provision though. Even then, you should probably try to get your LL to agree to it as it will be beneficial to his property most likely as it will probably produce lower bills for his tenants. If it doesn't, you can go back to the old RV method.

Your probably right, as said in the OP - I'm just lazy really. Was half hoping I could just phone them up and get the bill reduced.

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How much is your water bill?

Is it worth pursuing this for what I guess is likely to be a small(ish) amount?

Could you ask your neighbours to see if their RV is similar?

Lawyers love matters of principle, it means lots of money for them.

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How much is your water bill?

Is it worth pursuing this for what I guess is likely to be a small(ish) amount?

Could you ask your neighbours to see if their RV is similar?

Lawyers love matters of principle, it means lots of money for them.

No, no really worth pursuing, just having a winge.

Is that an oxymoron? or just a lie :P

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As I live in a rented flat I would have to get the landlords permission to fit a water meter, which is hassle and I’m lazy.

Under the Water Industry Act 1999 the landlord's permission is not required to have a water meter fitted provided the tenancy is for 6 months or more. While it would be courteous to inform your landlord, he has no right to stop installation. I had a water meter installed in my current rented flat and it has saved me over £200 a year.

'Water Metering Your New Rights':

http://www.housingcare.org/downloads/kbase/1556.pdf

Tenants

All these new rights are available to tenants as they are to other water customers. Landlords may not use tenancy agreements to stop tenants who pay their own water bills from choosing their method of charging.

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