Be Wary of a Pub Water Bill
Here is a cautionary tale of becoming a pub tenant & taking over an existing business.
Do not expect the support of your brewery, when it comes to outstanding issues around property maintenance. As the owners of The Red Lion, in Overton near Basingstoke found out, when they were liable for a water bill of over £37,000.
The owner of the Red Lion are in a battle with their supplier, Southern Water.
The company has already reduced the bill to £14,000 and have warned the couple they will have to pay up.
Water officials said the huge bill was caused by a leak and ordered the couple to get it fixed.
Ms Wells and her 42 year-old husband called in workers from the Brewery who dug and dug and dug, but could find no leak.
They did however, install a new waste disposal pipe.
When water board officials returned to take a new reading they said the problem had been fixed and reduced the bill because they said that not all the leaked water had seeped into the system.
Now the couple are paying off the debt at just over £1,000 a month, which is putting a financial strain on the couple’s business.
Mr Wells said:
I couldn’t believe it when I saw the bill.
I know the price of water has gone up recently, but this is ridiculous.
I’ve been a landlord of a pub before for 10 years and my bills were never anywhere near £40,000.
There’s no way I can afford it. A normal bill here would be about £500 a month.
You would think if there was a leak there would be swimming pools underground, but there weren’t even damp patches.”
He said the water company told him there must be a leak so his insurers hired contractors to dig up his driveway.
He said they found no evidence of a leak, but replaced the supply pipe anyway.
The landlord claims it must have been Southern Water’s meter that was faulty.
The water company says it still believes leaks were to blame and says its meter is not faulty.
Now the couple have spent £80 to get the meter independently tested and the results will not be known for another 60 days.
The big bill was for 17,370m of water – enough to fill almost seven Olympic-sized swimming pools or flush his (six-litre) toilet 7,932 times a day for a year (2,895,000 times in total).
Read more in about The Red Lion & their massive water bill: www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/4903074/Pub-landlord-stung-for-37000-water-bill.html
The Red Lion looks to be a lovely place to eat or drink if you are in the Basingstoke area: www.redlion-overton.co.uk