Water for the North West
Your rights and responsibilities
(this is the legal bit - sorry if it all sounds a bit formal!)
This section tells you about your legal rights and
responsibilities relating to your water and wastewater
services charges. It covers issues such as leaks, moving
premises, supply pipes and the water meter itself.
The occupier of premises is liable for charges except
where another person has agreed with us to accept
responsibility, in which case that person is liable.
In most landlord and tenant situations it is normally
the tenant who is charged as the occupier and not the
landlord. Exceptions include some accommodation
where the occupation of the tenants is temporary. In
these cases the landlord will usually be charged as the
Charges will be made when premises are occupied or
where we provide services to those premises.
Unless we have reached another agreement with you,
charges are payable when you receive your bill and we
must receive your payment within 14 days.
We will charge you for all the water which has passed
through the water meter regardless of any loss, wastage,
leakage or misuse. However, we will only make one
adjustment for an internal leak and one adjustment for
an external leak per customer per property.
This is to cover both water and wastewater charges. You
must have repaired the leak within any time limit we set,
or within two weeks, whichever is the later. Our ‘Leakage
code of practice’ for metered domestic properties gives
you more information. You can get a copy by calling us
on 0345 672 2999 or by visiting unitedutilities.com/
If, for any reason, we cannot establish how much water
has passed through the water meter, we will estimate
the amount of water used to base your charges on. If
appropriate, we will adjust this charge later. For any
period of time when the water meter is out of order, our
estimate will be based on the most reliable information
If you have a measured water supply you are liable for
water services charges until either:
(i) you leave the premises having given us an up to date
meter reading; or
(ii) you request that the supply is disconnected; or
(iii) where the water meter serves more than one
premises the person who accepted responsibility for
payment of the charges gives a reasonable period of
notice to end the agreement.
In the case of (i) if you don’t give notice then the charges
will be payable until the next meter reading is taken or
until 28 days after you inform us as provided by section
144 of the Water Industry Act 1991.
You are responsible for the water supply pipe serving
your property. This is usually the section of pipe from
the boundary of your property (often the garden wall)
into your property. In some cases, particularly in rural
areas, you may be responsible for more pipework
between the part of the street in which our main is laid
and your property or where the supply pipe crosses
someone else’s land. If you are in any doubt about your
responsibility, more information may be available from
the deeds of your property.
The water meter remains our property. This means
that we are responsible for maintaining and eventually
replacing it. We will do this at our own expense, unless
the water meter has been tampered with.
Tampering with a water meter is a serious offence. You
should not remove the water meter, obstruct access to
it or carry out any work on it without our permission. We
will recover the costs of any expense, loss or damage
from the person responsible.
Occasionally we may need to test your water meter, or
if you ask us to, we must test it. If you have asked us to
test the water meter, and it is not faulty, you must pay for
the test. For more information, visit unitedutilities.com/
leaflets and download our ‘Testing your household water
You also have the option of having the water meter
tested by the Trading Standards Officer. If you wish to
do this, you should contact your local Trading Standards
Under the Lowest Bill Guarantee scheme and during the
24 month period and each time your meter is read, we
will compare the cost of your metered charges to what
your charges would have been on an unmetered basis
and you will be billed the lower of the two amounts.
The lowest bill guarantee scheme is only applicable
for those customers using water for normal domestic
purposes. All excessive usage will be investigated
and if found to be outside the terms of the lowest bill
guarantee, the price promise will not be applied and the
customer will be reverted to a compulsory meter.
nited Utilities is the North West's water company. We keep the taps flowing and toilets
flushing for seven million customers every day. From Crewe to Carlisle, we work hard
behind the scenes to help your life flow smoothly.
United Utilities Water Limited, Haweswater House, Lingley Mere Business Park, Lingley Green Avenue, Warrington WA5 3LP.
Registered in England and Wales. Registered Number 2366678.