Overpayment of Thames Water charges

All water in Lambeth is supplied by Thames Water Utilities. By agreement with Thames Water, Watmos collected water charges for the homes which transferred from the Council in 2012. We received commission for doing so between 2012 and 2019.

This arrangement was common practice across London boroughs. No Watmos tenants paid more for their water and sewerage services than they would have done if they’d been paying Thames Water directly.

This arrangement was challenged in the courts resulting in a judgement by the Court of Appeal in October 2020 that tenants should be refunded the amount of commission received by their landlord.

We are currently taking legal advice and working through the practicalities of how this can be achieved and will provide a further update shortly.

* Last Updated 02/06/2021

Service Charges

A service charge pays for services that you share with your neighbours or are in addition to your rent.

These can include:
Service charges are contributions tenants pay towards the costs of maintaining and providing communal services for the block or estate they live in.
The charges include only the services provided to your property. Your Tenancy Agreement will set out which services you must pay a service charge for.
You normally pay service charges if you live in a flat or a house that has communal areas and/or has annual servicing contracts in place.

Typically service charges might cover:

  • Cleaning communal areas (including Refuse Collection costs).
  • Maintaining and servicing entry phone systems.
  • Concierge or Caretaking Services.
  • Maintaining communal gardens or shrub areas.
  • Communal block repairs and maintenance.
  • Electricity in communal hallways, street lighting and external security lighting.
  • Sheltered Housing Services.
  • Other services like maintaining and servicing lifts, providing TV aerials, CCTV and heating hot water.

How service charges are calculated

Every autumn, WATMOS reviews how much money has been spent providing these services and estimates how much will be needed in the next financial year. Those estimates are based on actual costs, inflation and prices from contractors.

For more information see your community handbook or speak to your TMO.