Scottish Water Customers Face Changes For Vacant, Non-Domestic Properties

Following a public consultation period, Scottish Water declared the free exemption on vacant, non-domestic properties was removed as at 1st April 2017. Here is the information you need to know around the current regime.

Why were the changes implemented?

According to Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Roseanna Cinningham, the change to the charging structure is underpinned by the Scottish Government’s commitment to the role of business in the growth of the economy. Where vacant properties benefit from water, sewerage, and drainage services, these charges will allow Scottish Water to ensure fairness, cost-effectiveness, and a uniform approach within the charging regime. The anticipated £15 million in revenue generated by these charges will allow for the maintained freeze in business charges and prevent an estimated 5% increase to 2021.

What does this mean for your business?

All non-domestic properties, whether they are occupied or not, become liable for a service charge for water, sewerage, as well as unmeasured charges such as surface and road drainage. Therefore, the responsibility falls with the owner of the property to pay these charges and ensure that they are up to date or face the possibility of having their water cut off.

What will you be charged for?

  • Fixed water and waste water charges.
  • Unmeasured charges such as road and surface drainage.
  • Any volumetric charges if the property has a meter.

Drainage charges (and fixed charges for unmetered properties) will be founded on the Rateable Value of the property. Fixed charges for metered properties will be based on the size of the meter.

What should you do?

As these changes came into effect in April, we strongly urge property owners with vacant properties to investigate the status of their water contract with suppliers to avoid penalties. Alternatively, please contact us and one of our experts will happily liaise with your suppliers ony our behalf to reduce time and stress, allowing you to get on with business.


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