Legal obligation of landlords to register re water authorities

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    Legal obligation of landlords to register re water authorities

    Contacted local water authority (Welsh Water) today about tenant's arrears (water bill) on behalf of tenant and was advised that as of 1 January 2015, landlords have been legally required to register their tenants's information with local water authority. Landlord's details, including address, must also be provided. This is the first I've heard of this. Does anyone know any more? I suspect this is a move to make landlords responsible for unpaid bills. Is that possible?

    #2
    Originally posted by Phyllis View Post
    I suspect this is a move to make landlords responsible for unpaid bills. Is that possible?
    Correct.

    We assume Welsh water already have the information that the tenant is responsible for the water rates, and at the start of the tenancy, you or the letting agent informed Welsh water ?

    But yes, YOU must tell them all they need to know, as there are far too many flats now not paying the water rates, and they just can't keep losing money, so they WILL come after you, because after all, it's YOUR property belonging to you that is not paying the water bills !

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Phyllis View Post
      Does anyone know any more?
      Yes, and it's certainly been discussed here. ( See https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/guid...payments.shtml)
      I suspect this is a move to make landlords responsible for unpaid bills. Is that possible?
      Possible? Of course it is. But if the landlord simply provides the necessary details at the outset, then they are off the hook. There's no room in the (current) legislation for the water company to come after the landlord if they simply can't find a named tenant who's buggered off without paying their bill.

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        #4
        It is a move to make landlords responsible and I only knew about it from a tip off on this site.

        Not rolled out very well IMO and I'd imagine that it will catch an awful lot of people out.

        They probably posted a legal notice in some newspaper somewhere to cover their backs.

        It's annoying as I'm in the same water area as my rental properties and haven't received notification of this at any property or at home.

        You need to register with the 'landlord tap' to add and remove T's details as and when required.
        "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

        What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Phyllis View Post
          ...landlords have been legally required to register their tenants's information with local water authority. Landlord's details, including address, must also be provided.
          Why would this not be normal in your role as a Landlord? I've got to say it is in my life.

          How could a Landlord be responsible for an unpaid bill if the correct information is all provided up-front as requested? Everyone would have it on record that the Landlord was responsible up to date X and the Tenant was responsible from date Y... then, you expect, the Landlord or next Tenant is responsible from date Z. How do we think a Landlord would become liable for an unpaid bill then? A water company can't say - "oh, 'cos we can't trace the ex-Tenant, you now must pay" surely?

          Comment


            #6
            I have always informed all the utility companies of tenant changes - not only is it courteous but prevents all sorts of arguments at a later date.

            A couple of years ago I was 'fishing' about debts left by a pair of tenants at one of my properties after eviction. The water company told me it was against Data Protection Act to discuss things but informed me they had never paid a water bill in 2.5 years of tenancy. Imagine the landlord having to cough up for that lot!



            Freedom at the point of zero............

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              #7
              Thank you all for taking time to reply. I believe as a landlord I have been doing everything correctly as described above but I didn't know about this new obligation. I am grateful to the water board for letting me know when I rang to discuss my tenant's arrears and what could be done. Of course they had the tenant's details for billing but the person I spoke to informed me as a courtesy of the new legislation. A fixed amount will now be coming off of the tenant's benefits but when is the new question as I have no idea how long it takes for the DWP to process application to do so.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Phyllis View Post
                I suspect this is a move to make landlords responsible for unpaid bills. Is that possible?
                Landlords will become jointly-liable for occupants' water debts if they fail to pass on the information within 21 days from when the tenant is eligible to move into the property.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                  Landlords will become jointly-liable for occupants' water debts if they fail to pass on the information within 21 days from when the tenant is eligible to move into the property.
                  This scheme will be rolled out to newspaper deliveries, the milk man and window cleaner no doubt.
                  "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

                  What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Hippogriff View Post
                    A water company can't say - "oh, 'cos we can't trace the ex-Tenant, you now must pay" surely?
                    Not yet, no; but watch this space...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I've never heard of this before.

                      Is it only for Wales or does it apply to the whole of the UK?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        They're jointly liable.
                        Not jointly and severally liable as far as I can see.

                        Is there some legislation behind this, or have Welsh Water just decided to change their Ts and Cs?
                        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          There is a further aspect to this issue which I only raise for further advice as I just read a similar discussion re electricity meters on another thread. The property is divided into three flats, two one bedroom flats and one two bedroom flat. The account with the water board is in one tenant's name which was agreed (and as stated is now in arrears). As it happens, the arrears are solely that tenant's. There is a main meter and each flat has a submeter and the tenants pay according to the amounts of water used by each flat and split the daily charge. The cost of installing seperate metered supplies to each flat is prohibitive. Originally, when the arrears was discussed with the water board, they stated that I, as landlord, would be held responsible for the debt as they could insist that I install seperate metered supplies if I didn't agree pay the arrears (although the account was in a tenant's name and that tenant was happy to state he agreed to that). Does a water board have a legal right to insist that I install seperate metered supplies to each flat and/or make me, the landlord, responsible for the arrears?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Is it in Wales only then? Do they have a particular problem with leeks? (sorry...)
                            Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                              Is it in Wales only then? Do they have a particular problem with leeks? (sorry...)
                              arf arf..

                              Welsh Water only. New website called landlordtap but will need to know a LOT more about this before giving info.

                              Comment

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