Tackling Bad Debt in the Water Industry

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has issued a consultation on liability for water charges.

A release from Defra states that:

"Bad debt currently adds an average of £15 to every water customer's bill and Government is committed to tackling this bad debt to lower bills. Occupiers of properties are liable for water charges but some people do not pay their bills. Most water debtors are tenants. In an attempt to tackle this issue, section 45 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 provides that landlords are liable for water charges if they do not pass the details of their tenants to water companies.

This part of the Act is not yet in force, and Defra is now consulting on two options:

  • Draft Regulations - which specify the details that landlords need to provide
  • A non-regulatory approach - i.e. a voluntary scheme where Government would ask landlords, and other holders of data on occupancy to share information with water companies

Welsh ministers have identical powers to issue Regulations in Wales so this consultation is for England only.

The consultation can be found HERE.

Download - The ARLA Response