Water customers are paying £20 extra on annual bills to cover non-payer’s bad debt, the Welsh government has claimed.
Over the last three years, debt written off by water companies and passed onto customers has increased by more than four times in three years, with the most recent figure standing at £12m.
The Welsh Government estimates that the majority of those owing money live in rented accommodation and is consulting on new regulations to ensure landlords pass on tenant’s details to water companies.
If passed, the new proposals will be applicable to Dwr Cymru and Dee Valley water companies, and could be implemented by March 2014.
Landlords will be required to pass on the occupier’s full name, date of birth, tenancy length and address to water companies, in order to stop debt building up oralternatively, offer payment arrangements in advance.
Tony Jones, the Welsh representative of ARLA (Association of Residential LettingAgents) and owner of ACJ Properties, based in Penarth said:
“While it is the responsibility of the tenant to pay their bills, good landlords will ensure details are shared before a tenancy agreement starts.
“People looking to rent in Cardiff need to be aware of what’s written into their tenancy agreements and what bills they are expected to pay. For example, a landlord may agree to pay council tax, however the tenant will be responsible for everything else.
“Renting is a great experience for those looking for some independence, and as long as everything is agreed with an accredited landlord before hand, they should have no problems.”