LETTING & ESTATE AGENT

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Water bill warning for Welsh landlords

Water bill warning for Welsh landlords

New Welsh Government regulations under the Water Industry Act come into force from 1 January. All landlords with properties in the Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and Dee Valley Water authority areas will become jointly liable for tenants’ water debt if they do not share tenant information with their water company.

Most of the affected properties will be in Wales, however properties in parts of Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Gloucestershire will also fall within the scheme which applies where owners do not live in the property (therefore excluding those letting rooms in their homes).

Landlords need to provide:

• full name

• date of birth (where available)

• the start date for the tenancy

• property address

There will be a period of 21 days to submit this information. Landlords will need to supply details of existing occupants by 21 January 2015 and for new occupants within 21 days of the start of their tenancy. Failure to provide the information will result in joint liability for water supply and sewerage charges.

This Welsh Government’s Tackling Poverty Action plan includes a commitment to reduce the number of people who get into debt with their water supplier. All paying customers cover the cost of others not paying their bills and, in Wales, this currently adds between £15-20 per year to each bill. The scheme is intended to support tenants in helping them to budget accordingly and ensuring they receive information about support for paying their bills, such as social tariffs, assistance funds or payment plans.

The easiest way to meet the obligations of the scheme is through submitting details via Landlord TAP.

Water UK established Landlord TAP to provide landlords and managing agents with a single national website to provide tenant information to water and sewerage companies. Once registered, you can use the forms on this web site to pass the required information to the relevant water company automatically, receiving a unique transaction receipt reference for your records.