Section 35 – Liability of occupiers etc for charges
91.This section is a substantially amended version of section 78 of the 1994 Act. It makes provision for the basis on which those responsible for premises with water or sewerage services provided by Scottish Water shall be liable for payment of charges.
92.Subsection (1) establishes that where Scottish Water provides premises with water or sewerage services it is deemed to be providing those services to the current occupier of the premises. It makes clear that it also covers the provision and maintenance of communication and supply pipes (as defined in the Water (Scotland) Act 1980). Subsection (2) makes the same deeming provision in relation to provision of sewerage services to premises. If any premises are unoccupied then the owner is treated as the occupier for the purposes of these deeming provisions (subsection (3)). These deeming provisions can be disapplied by agreement with Scottish Water (subsection (4)).
93.Subsections (5) to (8) make provision for enabling Scottish Water to recover charges from a former occupier of premises even after that occupier has left the premises in cases where the occupier had agreed with Scottish Water to charge by reference to metered consumption of services. Such an occupier remains liable for the charges if they fail to give Scottish Water 48 hours notice that they are about to cease occupying the premises (subsection (6)). Subsection (7) determines the period for which the occupier remains liable. Subsection (8) establishes that references to 48 hours in this section – by excluding weekends and public holidays from the reckoning – effectively mean two working days.