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Water Act 1945

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

38Liability for, and recovery of, water rates

(1)Water rates payable to statutory water undertakers, whether under the Public Health Act, 1936, or under any other enactment, shall be payable and recoverable in accordance with the provisions of this section and not otherwise.

(2)Except where an owner of premises who is not himself the occupier thereof is liable by or under any enactment, or by agreement with the undertakers, to pay the water rate for a supply of water to those premises, the water rate shall be payable by the occupier of the premises.

(3)The water rate payable by any person may after a demand therefor be recovered from him by the undertakers either summarily as a civil debt, or as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction, and, subject as hereinafter provided and to the provisions of the next following subsection, where a person fails to pay within seven days after a demand therefor any instalment of a water rate payable by him in respect of any premises, the undertakers may cut off the supply of water to the premises and recover the expenses reasonably-incurred by them in so doing in the same manner as the instalment due :

Provided that if before the expiration of the said seven days, notice in writing is given to them that there is a dispute as to the amount due in respect of the water rate, or as to the liability to pay the rate, they shall not cut off the supply of water until the dispute has, on the application of either party, been settled by a court of summary jurisdiction.

(4)Where, at the date when an instalment of a water rate in respect of any premises becomes due, the owner of the premises is liable by or under any enactment, or by agreement with the undertakers, to pay the water rates for a supply of water to those premises and is not himself the occupier thereof, the undertakers shall not cut off the supply of water to the premises for a failure by him to pay that instalment, but that instalment, without prejudice to the right of the undertakers to enforce payment thereof by him, may be recovered by them either from the owner for the time being, or, subject as hereinafter provided, from the occupier for the time being, of the premises, in the manner in which water rates are recoverable:

Provided that, where the occupier of the premises is not the owner thereof,—

(a)proceedings shall not be commenced under this subsection against the occupier until notice has been given to him requiring him to pay the amount due out of any rent which is then due, or which may thereafter "become due, from him, and he has failed to comply with the notice; and

(b)no greater sum shall be recovered at any one time from the occupier than the amount of rent which is owing by him, or which has accrued since such notice as aforesaid was given to him; and

(c)if the occupier, as between himself and the owner of the premises, is not liable to pay the water rate, he shall be entitled to deduct from the rent payable by him any sum paid by him in compliance with the notice, or so recovered from him.

(5)If any water supply is cut off by the undertakers in contravention of the provisions of this section, they shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five pounds for each day during which the water remains cut off.

(6)In this section the expression " water rate " includes any additional charge payable to the undertakers in respect of a supply of water for domestic purposes within the meaning of that expression as used in the enactments relating to the undertakers.

(7)Nothing in this section shall affect any enactment under which undertakers who are also a rating authority may be empowered to collect water rates, rents or charges together with general rates, or to recover water rates, rents or charges in the same manner as general rates.

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