Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Landlords could become liable for tenants' unpaid water bills under Government plans

A new consultation from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) aims to reduce the sums that every water user pays to cover the cost of unpaid water bills, Environment Minister Richard Benyon said. This accounts for an average of £15 a year on bills.

There is currently no requirement that the owners of a building must provide information on an occupier's identity to the relevant water company, although these details must be provided to electricity and gas suppliers. The water industry had to write off approximately £328 million in unpaid bills in 2010-11, mainly from tenants in rented properties, the Government said.

Benyon said that he wanted to consider whether the Government could take action through a voluntary approach before introducing regulation.