Paying for your water

Proposed changes

Currently, you pay the charge for your water and wastewater directly to us. We collect the payments on behalf of the water companies. Details of these charges are set out in the letter we send you each year, telling you how much rent you have to pay for the year ahead.

We're considering whether to stop collecting payments for water and wastewater services from April 2018. Instead, you would pay the water company directly for these charges. If this goes ahead, you would receive a separate bill and it would be your responsibility to pay directly for these services. We would no longer collect any payments for water.

We'd like our tenants to be able to have the same relationship with their water supplier as people living in other types of home. By dealing directly with them, you would be able to benefit from any reductions in price or schemes to help people who need extra support.

Have your say

We'd like to know your views about this proposed change. Please let us know what you think by:

  • Emailing us on water.consult@dacorum.gov.uk
  • Calling us on 01442 228000 and asking for Housing
  • Writing to us at: Water Rates Consultation, The Forum, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 1DN

Please make sure we receive your comments by Friday 22 September 2017.

Find out who supplies your water

Depending on where in Dacorum you live, your water company is either Affinity Water or Thames Water. Find out who your supplier is on the Water UK website.

Both of these companies have payment schemes designed to save you money on your water bill.

Contacting your water supplier

For more details, please visit the Affinity Water or Thames Water websites.

Paying for your water

If these changes go ahead then your water company will contact you directly to tell you about how you will be billed. We will provide your water company with your address, but we will not pass on any sensitive information in line with the Data Protection Act. Your water company will let you know all of the different ways that you can pay and you will be able to choose the one that suits you best.

Support to pay your water bills

If you receive means-tested benefits, such as housing benefit or income support, you may be entitled to some help paying your water bills. Each water supplier runs its own scheme, so you should contact it directly to see what support could be available to you.

Plumbing and repairs

You would report any repairs to your water pipes and plumbing to us in the same way as you do now. Your rights and responsibilities remain exactly the same. Find out more about reporting a repair.

Further information

We will be holding some focus groups with both Affinity Water and Thames Water for tenants who would like to find out more about how these changes would work.

If you'd like to attend one of these sessions, please email tenant.involvement@dacorum.gov.uk or call 01442 228000 and ask for Tenant Involvement.

Frequently asked questions

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  • Who decides how much I pay for water and wastewater services?

    We currently collect water charges on behalf of the water companies. We simply act as a middle man, collecting the amount that they tell us is due. We do not negotiate charges with them.

    We cannot guarantee that prices will not increase, but any increase would be exactly the same regardless of whether you pay the water company directly or via ourselves.

  • How can I get help to pay my water charges?

    If you pay the water company directly there are a number of schemes available designed to reduce the cost of your water. These schemes are open to people who meet certain criteria, but not to tenants who pay their water charges via ourselves.

  • How do I pay my water charges?

    The water companies offer a variety of payment methods and schedules and will work with you to find the one that suits best.

    If we continue to collect your water charges then you will pay this alongside your rent as you currently do.

  • Will I be required to have a water meter?

    Many of our tenants would benefit from having a metered supply, but the water companies have no immediate plans to introduce compulsory metering. If they did, we would comply with this request.

  • I live in a supported housing scheme, what about me?

    We are aware that there are particular issues relating to certain sheltered schemes and will carefully consider whether residents of these schemes should continue to pay water charges to us, even if we transfer the collection of water rates for most tenants back to the water company.

  • Do we get any money for collecting the water charges?

    We do receive a small administration fee for collecting the water charges, but this is used to offset the costs of collection. Overall, the process is cost neutral.

  • What will happen if I cannot pay?

    Currently, if you do not pay your water charges you are at risk of losing your home as we can apply for your eviction if you owe us rent or other charges.

    If you pay the water company direct, this will not happen. The water company will also not be able to disconnect your water supply if you fail to pay. However, it will be able to pursue the debt through the court.

  • What will happen at the end of the consultation?

    We will carefully consider all the feedback we receive. If, following the consultation, we decide that the collection of water rates should be transferred back to the water companies, then both ourselves and the water company will write to you with more information. We may also hold community events to explain what will happen next and give you the opportunity to ask questions.

  • Who is responsible for repairs to my water supply if the transfer goes ahead?

    If the transfer goes ahead, you should continue to report any repairs issues relating to the water supply in exactly the same way as you do now. You will not be required to take out insurance for the water supply pipes. In addition, no other terms of your tenancy will be affected.