As a result of recent changes to the law, under Part 2, s45 (1-3) of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 that came into force in October 2012, landlords failing to notify the water company of a tenant’s details will become jointly and severally liable with their tenant for overdue water charges. Invariably, the easier option for the water companies, therefore, will be to pursue the landlord for the debt, rather than trying to trace and recover from the tenant.
Landlords should always therefore make a point of informing, in writing (and in view of this measure perhaps by recorded delivery) all the utilities suppliers of the tenants’ full details when a new tenancy starts. Likewise, when a tenancy ends, the landlord should again inform the utilities companies, providing a forwarding address for the tenants whenever possible.
However, we have recently been alerted by an MKPLA Member that Anglian Water’s online form does not provide an appropriate receipt for the information provided. Their automated reply email simply confirms that a change of address has been supplied, but does not confirm that any tenant details have been provided. This may also be an issue that is not limited to Anglian Water.