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  • Anglian Water Default

    I've recently just applied for a self build mortgage, and been declined based in my credit score. Which came as a shock.

    I've looked at my credit score to find that AW have filled a default for missing paying a bill for £300ish. We have recently moved into a rented house while we do the build, and I never got round to setting up my direct debit for AW, as I usually would do. The reason I didnt pay, immediately is because the water tank failed and was leaking water out the overflow for over a month before the landlord got around the replacing it. I was using the bill as leverage to have the landlord contribute to the bill as it was 3 times what it should have been. It was pretty much a waste of time but I managed to squeeze £50 out of him!

    AW only sent me text reminders about the outstanding bill, it wasnt until I got a letter on 18th May reminding me about the bill, when it mentioned it could have an impact on credit score, did I do anything about it. I think I was just over 3 months late paying in the end. I've never had a default or anything like it so wasnt that clued up on how it all works. I never realised how fragile a credit score can be.

    Can anyone help me check if AW followed the correct procedure before issuing the default, I've never had any clear warnings. All text reminders seemed to be offering help with payment plans etc and offering flexibility with covid19 etc. Had I known this could happen I would of obviously paid the bill! Affordability was never an issue.

    If I cant get a mortgage, I'm screwed.

    I've had a mortgage for over 10 years, never missed a bill.

    I've just registered to vote at this new address to help my credit score and emailed AW explaining the problem to ask if they will remove the default. My credit score has gone down to 650!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    Hello

    Is there a water meter at the property, and if so was there a reading taken by Anglian Water (or the letting agent) when you moved in and subsequently?

    Di
    Legal Disclaimer

    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specialises in consumer credit. If you need to contact me you can send a message by clicking on my username or by emailing me at di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk or by telephoning 0330 053 9340. My Direct Line is 0151 254 6986 Our initial advice is always free.

    Any posts I make on the AAD Consumer Forum are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide on the forum is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

    Comment


    • #3
      Thankyou for taking the time to respond, very much appreciated.

      Yes there will be a meter and no I haven't checked it. I guess the useage was never in question as the water leak was inevitably going to cause high readings. Readings were checked and agreed when moving in.

      The issue is more about the default and how I would best best having it removed, and less about challenging the cost of the bill.

      Thankyou

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mtjones4 View Post
        there will be a meter and no I haven't checked it. I guess the useage was never in question as the water leak was inevitably going to cause high readings. Readings were checked and agreed when moving in.

        The issue is more about the default and how I would best best having it removed, and less about challenging the cost of the bill.

        I completely understand your wish to have the default removed from your credit file which is why I'm attempting to establish if there is a reason for it not to have been applied in the first place.

        If you follow my logic

        Common sense says that in order to have have breached a term in your contract you need to identify the term.

        I also think you need to establish the 'accuracy' of the breach i.e. was the bill accurate which lead to the alleged breach.

        I note you say a meter reading was taken when you moved in, but was a meter reading taken again which lead to a bill which apparently triggered the default registered on your CRA file?

        Lawyers can be pedantic when it comes to facts for all the right reasons.

        Di
        Last edited by Diana Mayhew; 6th June 2020, 20:03. Reason: typo
        Legal Disclaimer

        I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specialises in consumer credit. If you need to contact me you can send a message by clicking on my username or by emailing me at di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk or by telephoning 0330 053 9340. My Direct Line is 0151 254 6986 Our initial advice is always free.

        Any posts I make on the AAD Consumer Forum are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide on the forum is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

        Comment


        • #5
          So I've took your advice and checked the meter readings today, they are such that I would suggest (no way of knowing for sure) that the meter reading, in which the bill relates to was correct. The bill also shows that the ready was an actual reading, not an estimated.

          In the hope that AW are reasonable and consider the circumstances, I have today also just paid another bill. Hoping this reassures them that it was a 1 off not to pay.

          Does anyone have an idea what the process should involve before just issuing a default, and what are my chances of having it removed?

          Thanks

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mtjones4 View Post
            checked the meter readings today, they are such that I would suggest (no way of knowing for sure) that the meter reading, in which the bill relates to was correct. The bill also shows that the ready was an actual reading, not an estimated.

            As you say, you have "no way of knowing for sure" that the meter reading was correct unless it was provided by you (was it?).

            Last year I personally fought a water supplier where the meter readings may have been accurate, but there was no meter at my property. They were reading someone else's meter remotely. Smart meters aren't always that smart.

            Is the meter inside your property and/or is there any evidence that someone came to read it (inside or outside)? You can ask them for the date/time etc.

            The difficulty you face is, according to you, the real reason you withheld payment was to force your Landlord to take action to deal with an overflow pipe. That appears to have been a maintenance issue between you and your Landlord, and unlikely to have been Anglian Water's liability.

            You also say your Landlord paid you £50 compensation but how did you get to that figure (i.e. based on what)? What caused the overflow and why was it the Landlord's fault? Were there water pressure issues with the property that may not have been their fault - potentially the water supplier's fault?

            Had you been receiving quarterly or annual bills or no bills at all?

            Are there any bills or meter readings which show the 'usage' increased during the leak period? The water supplier should have a history of usage at that property since the meter was installed, even from previous occupiers. They may be more sympathetic if you can demonstrate this dispute with your Landlord was a genuine misunderstanding.

            You can start with a complaint to Anglia Water > https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/about...ed-complaints/

            and if it isn't resolved you can escalated it to WATRS (water industry redress scheme). Before that you will need to establish what they (Anglian Water) did wrong.

            The WATRS website has examples of successful outsomes on billing issues where the water supplier hasn't been found at fault, but nevertheless compromised is reached. Here's an example > https://www.ccwater.org.uk/blog/2020...lly-high-bill/

            If the Default must remain on your credit file then you can ask the CRA to add a Notice of Correction which allows you to explain what went wrong (in your eyes). This means anyone searching your file in relation to a credit application can't make their judment based on automating credit scoring software - they will see your Notice of Correction and hopefully make an informed decision.

            Here's some useful information on how to do this > https://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/...orrection.html

            Di
            Legal Disclaimer

            I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specialises in consumer credit. If you need to contact me you can send a message by clicking on my username or by emailing me at di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk or by telephoning 0330 053 9340. My Direct Line is 0151 254 6986 Our initial advice is always free.

            Any posts I make on the AAD Consumer Forum are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide on the forum is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

            Comment

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