Government review of water industry change signals relief for BPF

The British Property Federation (BPF) has backed plans for a Government review of water industry powers that could leave landlords liable to further costs. The review could see a change to the current powers that force landlords to share information on tenancy changes with water companies. Unpaid water charges currently add around £15 a year to the bills of those who do pay for water.

Under the current Flood and Water Management Act, the Government can make property owners liable for payment of water and sewerage bills in they fail to provide details on current occupants. However, under potential changes being considered by the Government, proposals are now afoot for a more voluntary and non-regulatory approach to unpaid bills.

BPF director of policy Ian Fletcher backed the plans. "Government policy in other areas is pushing for personal responsibility and the same should apply here that landlords should not be held liable for their tenants' debts, which is simply unfair," he said.