Wales

Water debt: who is responsible?

RLA
Written by RLA

News of voluntary schemes asking landlords to provide tenant details to water companies has been circulating today and has been met with some apprehension. The RLA is currently responding to the Welsh Government’s consultation ‘Tackling Bad Water Debt in Wales’ which is proposing mandatory disclosure of this information to water companies from March 2014 in most parts of Wales…

News of voluntary schemes asking landlords to provide tenant details to water companies has been circulating today and has been met with some apprehension. The RLA is currently responding to the Welsh Government’s consultation ‘Tackling Bad Water Debt in Wales’ which is proposing mandatory disclosure of this information to water companies from March 2014 in most parts of Wales.   

The Welsh Government want to make it mandatory for landlords to provide details of tenants by March 2014 and give 21 days to obtain and submit details to water companies of all existing and new tenants.  This information includes,

  • Their own (the landlords) address
  • Tenant name
  • Tenant date of birth
  • Date at the start of occupancy

If the landlord does not attempt to obtain this information and make reasonable attempts to share this information with the water companies then the landlord will become liable for any water debt that could be owing on the property.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) recently conducted a survey of members who currently let properties in Wales, to gather opinion on the proposals in the consultation ‘Tackling ‘bad debt’ within the water industry in Wales’.

The results showed the following,

  • 63% of the landlords who responded currently supply information about their tenants on a voluntary basis to the water company already.
  • On the whole the majority of respondents agreed in principle to submitting their tenants’ full name and date the tenant began to occupy the premises however, 60.9% were not happy to provide their tenants’ date of birth.
  •  58.4% of respondents disagreed with having to let the water company know if they have any doubts as to whether the information they are providing is accurate or complete.
  • 55.2% of Landlords disagreed that the 21 days from the start date was sufficient time to provide the required information for their existing tenants to the water companies.
  • 80.2% of respondents answered that they would prefer a voluntary scheme for landlords to notify water companies of their tenants’ information as opposed to compulsory.

The RLA will monitor the situation as it develops, and look forward to hearing back from the Welsh Government when the consultation has finished.

Further Information

About the author

RLA

RLA

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) across England and Wales. With over 23,000 subscribing members, and an additional 16,000 registered guests who engage regularly with the association, we are the leading voice of private landlords. Combined, they manage almost half a million properties.

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