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Water Resources (Scotland) Act 2013

Part 5 – Non-Domestic Services

Section 32 – Deemed contracts

52.The 2005 Act established a framework whereby non-domestic customers could receive water and sewerage services from any one of a number of licensed providers operating in a competitive market, with Scottish Water effectively acting as the wholesale provider of the services. This section inserts into the 2005 Act new sections 20A and 20B, which address situations where customers are receiving services without having a contract with a particular licensed provider.

53.New section 20A of the 2005 Act provides that where water or sewerage services are provided to premises by Scottish Water as wholesale provider but, for whatever reason, there is no contract in place between a licensed provider and the occupier, a deemed contract shall exist between the occupier and whichever licensed provider is designated by the Water Industry Commission for Scotland.

54.New section 20B of the 2005 Act provides for the basis on which a provider is designated for the purposes of new section 20A, and the terms and conditions of the deemed contract, to be set out in a scheme which is to be prepared by the Water Industry Commission for Scotland.

Section 33 – Notification of occupancy

55.This section inserts new sections 20C and 20D into the 2005 Act.

56.New section 20C of the 2005 Act requires the owner of premises to which water or sewerage services are provided by a licensed provider (i.e. a provider licensed under section 6 of the 2005 Act) to provide information to the provider in respect of any change in occupancy. The Scottish Ministers may by regulations add to the information to be provided, and make rules on the timing of and procedure for the provision of information.

57.New section 20D of the 2005 Act provides that if the owner fails without reasonable excuse to advise the provider that a new occupier has taken occupancy, then the owner becomes jointly and severally liable with the new occupier for relevant charges. The Scottish Ministers may by regulations make rules on the timing of when joint liability arises and associated procedures, and for exempting from liability owners who have taken prescribed steps to ensure the accuracy and completeness of information provided by them.

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