Revelations that Southwark Council had illegally sold water and sewage services to more than 70,000 tenants has led to a flood of similar claims across the country, it has been revealed.
Southwark Council last year pledged to refund past and previous tenants to whom it had overcharged for water bills between 2001 and 2013.
The total cost of all Southwark Council’s refunds was estimated at £28million.
Some 22 other councils across the country are facing similar claims from tenants, the Sunday Mirror reported.
It follows a High Court judge’s ruling in March 2016, which sided with a claim brought by Camberwell resident Kim Jones. The judge ruled that Southwark had effectively profited in its act of collecting water bill payments on behalf of Thames Water, while also charging an admin fee to its tenants.
It is believed that the excessive charges could also have landed many tenants in rent arrears, and even contributed to some tenants being evicted from their homes.
In the wake of the Jones vs Southwark case, group litigation firm WaterClaimsUK was created to help tenants bring claims against councils and housing associations guilty of the same offence.
A spokesperson for the company told the News they have been contacted by 30,000 potential claimants, including from Scotland and Wales, but “the greatest number” coming from the Thames Water region.