The RLA has issued guidance ahead of the implementation of the Welsh Government’s new regulations under the Water Industry Act that could mean that landlords become jointly liable for their tenants’ water debt from the 1st January 2015 if they do not share their tenants information with their water company.
From 1st January 2015 there will be an obligation on all landlords with properties in the Welsh Water and Dee Valley Water areas to share certain information about their tenants with their water company. The majority of properties affected are in Wales, but these Water Authority areas also cover parts of Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Gloucestershire. If you fall under the Welsh Water or Dee Valley Water areas, and you do not notify the relevant company of your tenants details you will become jointly-liable for the occupants’ water debt. Please note these obligations DO NOT include the Severn Trent authority areas.
You will be under obligation to notify the relevant company of the,
- full name
- date of birth (if you hold it)
- the date the occupancy began for each of the occupants within the property (as well as obviously the property address).
For existing occupants, you will have to do this by the 21st January 2015 , and for new occupants within 21 days of them moving in or their tenancy or contractual arrangement beginning (whichever is sooner).
We recommend that you do this via the designated Landlordtap (www.landlordtap.com). Once you have registered you will be able to follow the on-screen instructions to enable you to provide the relevant information to the Water Authority. The portal will automatically work out by post code which water authority to send the information to if you are unsure. We believe that ‘landlord Tap’ will be live from 22nd December 2014 but we will notify you once we receive confirmation that the portal is ‘live’.
For more details please read the full guidance on the RLA website (https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/guides/liability-for-water-payments.shtml ) . You can find who your water provider is here.( http://www.ofwat.gov.uk/consumerissues/watercompanies/map/ )
TO AVOID BECOMING JOINTLY-LIABLE FOR YOUR EXISTING TENANT’S WATER DEBTS ENSURE THAT YOU ACT by 21ST JANUARY 2015 AT THE LATEST!
FOR NEW TENANTS REGISTER THEIR DETAILS WITHIN 21 DAYS OF THE DATE THEY ARE ENTITLED TO MOVE INTO THE PROPERTY.