Overpayment of Thames Water charges

The sections in this guide explain how overpayments will be credited to tenant rent accounts and how to claim a refund if you’re an eligible former tenant.

All water in the borough is supplied by Thames Water Utilities. By agreement with Thames Water, we collected water charges for council homes at the same time as collecting rent. We received commission for doing so between 2001 and 2019. 

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

In 2016, Southwark Council were challenged on the legality of this arrangement and ordered to refund their tenants for the amount they had been found to have been overcharged. Following an appeals process to clarify the law, the Court of Appeal made a judgement in October 2020.  

We welcome the judgement and are committed to making any payments as quickly as possible. This guide explains how overpayments will be credited to rent accounts and how to claim a refund if you’re eligible.