Welsh Water urges landlords to act to avoid costs brought about by regulation change.
By Elaine Gunning
A change in regulations mean landlords whose properties are served by Welsh Water are required to let them know of changes in tenancy within 21 days. Landlords could be liable for water and sewerage charges if they fail to update their information within their Welsh Water account.
The 2014 Regulations Undertakers Wholly or Mainly in Wales Information about Non-owner Occupiers) Regulations 2014 took effect as of 1 January 2015.
The object of the Regulations is to assist the water and sewerage industry to reduce the level of debt in order to help lower bills.
The regulations place a duty on all owners of residential properties served by Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water or Dee Valley Water (whether in England or Wales), who let the property to a tenant, too provide basic information about the occupiers to the relevant water company.
These regulations only apply to owners who do not occupy the property them-selves.
If the owner has let out the property but fails to provide the required information within 21 days of the regulations coming into force the Landlord and Tenant become jointly and severally liable for any water and sewerage charges incurred during the period that they failed to comply with the regulations.
The rationale behind the regulations is that Occupiers will benefit from the new approach, being made aware of the charges they will be liable to for water and sewerage charges.
Therefore assisting tenants to budget accordingly and ensuring they receive information about support for paying their bills, such as social tariffs, assistance funds or payment plans (https://www.ccwater.org.uk/households/help-with-my-bills/).
The aim of the regulations is to ensure that water companies will be able to identify potentially vulnerable customers earlier and offer targeted help and advice.
In order to provide an efficient and simple process for property owners to provide occupier information, the Water Industry has developed an easy to use website called Landlord Tap (https://www.landlordtap.com/).
The Landlord or Letting Agent access the portal to input the occupiers details. These details are automatically passed to the relevant water company and property owners receive a unique transaction receipt reference for their records.
Here at MLS we are regularly instructed by landlords to advise on compliance and possession claims. If you have any questions please contact us on 01244 478 730 and we will be happy to help.
This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact us for advice.