A website is up and running for landlords to provide voluntarily basic contact information about their tenants so water companies can register them for billing and tackle this major source of water debt.
Customer debt currently adds £15 on to everyone’s water bill. By far the biggest source of bad debt comes from tenants of rented properties who leave before settling their water bill.
Unlike other sectors, water companies have no contracts with their consumers because they supply water on a statutory basis and consumers are not obliged to inform their water company when they move in or out of a property.
To make a real difference to the cost of bad debt, water companies need information on all their customers, not just some of them. So it is essential that the provision of information by landlords is mandatory and covers all rented properties, whether in the private or social sector or for smaller or larger enterprises.
The Welsh Government recently made it mandatory for landlords to provide tenants’ details to water companies.