Water charges update: Southwark adjourns possession claims

Following a decision on 7 June 2016 that it would pay to tenants refunds of water and sewerage charges totalling £28.6 million, Southwark Council has notified Lambeth County Court that it will be seeking to adjourn all possession claims affected by this decision.

The refunds relate to the period 1 April 2001 to 28 July 2013, during which Southwark was found to have breached the Water Resale Orders by a High Court judge in March (see here).

In the letter, Southwark sets out the maximum amount it calculates it has unlawfully overcharged tenants – ranging from £1,158.18 for bedsits up to £1,999.22 for 7 bedroom properties. Southwark states that it will adjourn all possession claims based on rent and service charge arrears unless the arrears substantially exceed those sums or the tenancy started after July 2013.

Southwark has yet to announce what action will be taken in relation to possession proceedings which concluded before June 2016 and in which the tenants would not have lost their homes but for Southwark’s unlawful overcharging.

For a copy of Southwark’s letter to the Court, click here.