Between 2004 and 2016, by agreement with Thames Water, we collected water charges for some legacy Metropolitan Housing Trust homes at the same time as collecting rent.
In 2016, Southwark Council were challenged on the legality of this arrangement and ordered to refund their tenants for the amount they had been found to have been overcharged. Following an appeals process to clarify the law, the Court of Appeal made a judgement in October 2020 confirming that refunds should be issued.
We welcome the judgement and are committed to making any payments as quickly as possible.
This guide explains how overpayments will be credited to rent accounts and how to claim a refund if you’re eligible.
You do not need to contact us. We have written to Thames Water to assist us with providing a full and correct refund to our customers. Once received, we will be calculating the full refund due.
The refund will be credited to your rent account. If you have any outstanding debts such as rent arrears or court costs, any proceeds will be used to offset those first. If the refund leaves a credit on your account and you have no associated debts, you will be able to request a refund.
If you are identified as being affected and you are due a refund, we will contact you by letter. The letter will explain how the refund has been calculated. This is a complex issue and as such we are unable to give a timescale. However, please be assured that we are committed to resolving this issue as quickly as possible.
If you are affected, we will also pay an additional sum of interest at a rate of twice the average base interest rate of the Bank of England for the period you were overcharged. Further information can be found here.
For former residents, the refund will be calculated in the same way as outlined above.
Due to data protection requirements, we do not hold current addresses for most former tenants, so we will not be able to contact you directly.
Therefore, if you lived in a Metropolitan Housing Trust property between 2004 and 2016 in the Thames Water region, you may be eligible for a refund of the commission we received.
If you think that you may be eligible for a refund, please contact the Income Team:
We may ask you for proof of identity to prevent fraudulent claims.
Any outstanding arrears or debts relating to your former account(s) will be deducted from any refund due.