England

Amnesty for Thames Water customers ends

A six-week amnesty to find water users in London and the Thames Valley who are not receiving bills has ended.

Thames Water began the amnesty on 20 January. Residents had until 2000 GMT on Thursday to get in touch or face charges backdated by up to six years.

The company said, of 7,686 people who called the amnesty line, it is running checks on the properties of 2,260.

Anyone who got in touch to say they had not been billed will have all previous unpaid charges waived.

Thames Water supplies 8.7 million households in London, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Wiltshire.

The company said it would not know for some weeks how many extra households will be billed but estimates more than 23,000 are not paying for water.

A spokesman said many older properties had been divided up over the years and in some cases no-one informed the company of the change, meaning that separate bills were not been set up.

The same thing can happen if a developer builds a new property and connects it to the water network without fulfilling the legal obligation to tell the water supplier.

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