The Welsh Government has enforced new regulations under the Water Industry Act, which will come into force.
The rules will require all landlords with rental properties in the Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, and Dee Valley Water areas to share tenant information with their water company. If they do not provide the details, they will be equally liable for any of their tenant’s water debts.
The majority of places affected by the rules will be within Wales, although other parts, such as Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, and Gloucestershire, may be contained within the scheme. The regulations concern owners who do not live in their property, and therefore do not include homeowners who rent out rooms in their houses.
Landlords must provide the following information of their tenants to the water company: full name, date of birth, the start date of the tenancy, and the property address.
Welsh Landlords Receive Water Bill Notification
These details must be submitted within 21 days. Landlords with existing tenants will have to provide the information by 21st January 2015, and for any new tenancy agreements, the material must be given within 21 days of the beginning of the lease.
If landlords do not provide the information, they will be jointly accountable for any water supply and sewerage charges.
The Welsh Government is attempting to reduce the amount of people who are in debt to their water supplier, through the Tackling Poverty Action plan.
All customers that pay their bills cover the cost of those that do not, and in Wales, this can add on £15-£20 a year to every bill.
The system will try to help tenants budget effectively, and direct them to suitable information for support in paying their bills, for example, social tariffs, or assistance funds.
For landlords, the simplest method of observing the regulations is to submit the information through Landlord TAP.
Water UK has created Landlord TAP, a national website that passes on tenant information to water and sewerage firms. Landlords and letting agents can use the forms on the site to deliver the details to the company. They will then receive a transaction receipt.