Rochdale Boroughwide Housing collects water charges on behalf of United Utilities as part of the rent charge.
As such, it is important to ensure this is paid in advance with your rent. Neither Universal Credit nor Housing Benefit will pay for your water charge so it is your responsibility to pay this from your own income.
However, if you are struggling we may be able to help in the following ways:
All homes built since 1990 have a water meter which means that you only pay for the water you actually use.
For many of our tenants, water is charged as a Rateable Value. This is set by United Utilities using a complicated calculation based on the rental value of your home in the past. It does not reflect the current condition of your home or neighbourhood.
For some people this can be a good thing as you do not have to worry about using too much water. However, some people may be paying more than they need to particularly if they do not use much water or live alone.
If you are interested in a water meter, it is worth visiting this web link and using the quick calculator tool which could give you an idea of your water charge. Remember to answer honestly! The tool will give you an idea of your estimated metered bill for a year. You would need to divide this by 48 weeks to get a rough idea of what your weekly charge would be.
If the water meter doesn’t work out for you, you have two years to request a switch back to Rateable Value.
How does it work?
You should request a meter fitting through the Rents and Payments Team by calling [INSERT NUMBER] or by sending us an email. We will then speak to our specialist support team at United Utilities who will arrange a surveyor to fit the meter in a few weeks from your request.
Generally, your water charge will not be recalculated until the following April, but you can ask for this to be done sooner if you provide us with meter readings. It is recommended that these readings are not taken for at least 4 – 6 weeks so that a realistic average can be found.
Occasionally certain properties cannot have a water meter due to their plumbing or construction. If this happens you will be given a form to apply for a different tariff which may be cheaper than Rateable Value. If this happens please contact us so we can follow it up for you.
There are other options available if you are struggling. For example large families with water meters or people that have to use more water because they are disabled may get help with metered charges. Please follow this link to the United Utilities page for more information. As your water charge is collected with your rent, you might need to ask us for information or help with the application. Please also note that not all options may be available to all customers.