Changes to water and sewerage charge collection from April 2020

From 1 April 2020, we will no longer collect the money for your home’s water and sewerage costs with your rent. Instead you will pay your water company directly. Depending on where you live in the district, these costs will be paid to either Sutton and East Surrey Water (SES) or Thames Water.

You do not have to do anything yet.

The company which supplies your water and sewerage will write to you with more information and tell you what you need to do. Please look out for this letter and reply to it.

We will collect water and sewerage charges as part of your rent until 31 March 2020.  Early in 2020, we will write to confirm how much your rent will be from April 2020 and there will be no changes to the way you pay your rent to us.

We are working closely with the water companies to make sure the changes go as smoothly as possible.

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Background
We have worked together with the water companies for many years. Some or all of your water and service charges are collected by us with your rent.

When do these changes take place?
We will still collect your water and sewerage charges with your rent until 31 March 2020.

From April 2020 you will pay your water charges directly to your water company who will send you your bill.

What do I do now?
You do not have to do anything just yet.

Soon, you will be contacted by Sutton and East Surrey Water (SES) or Thames Water to set up an account with one of them. Please look out for this letter and reply to it. Your details need to be set up directly with them.

How do I pay my water charges?
The water company will be in touch with you one month before your first bill is issued, to arrange how you will pay your water charges directly to them.

You will be offered a variety of ways to pay, including by direct debit or standing order or other payment schemes they may offer.

Will my bill increase?
SES and Thames Water review their charges each year and are regulated by the industry regulator, Ofwat.

Charges can go up or down.

Can the water companies help me to pay my bill before the changes happen?
The water companies have lots of ways they can help you save money by using water more efficiently. For more information on saving water in the home visit:
https://www.waterplc.com/pages/home/saving-water/
https://www.thameswater.co.uk/be-water-smart

They will also check to see if you are eligible for any preferential rates which may help you.

Can I apply for a water meter?
You can apply for a water meter. You will need to apply to the water company directly and they will then assess if your property is suitable for a meter to be installed.

Do I need to notify Housing Benefit or Universal Credit about these changes?
You do not need to notify them because water charges are not eligible for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

What changes will happen to my rent?
We will collect water and sewerage charges as part of your rent until 31 March 2020.

Early in 2020, we will write to confirm how much your rent will be from April 2020.

There will be no changes to the way you pay your rent to us.