Historically, vacant properties in Scotland were deemed to be exempt from water, waste water and drainage charges. However, this all changed from 1 April 2017 when The Scottish Government made the decision to remove the exemption for vacant properties. This change has come into effect as all properties, including vacant premises, rely on the services provided by Scottish Water, in particular drainage charges.
From 1 April 2017, all non-domestic properties regardless of occupancy status became liable for water, sewerage and drainage charges. This means that it’s the responsibility of a property’s owner, or their appointed landlord, to pay these charges whilst the property is vacant.
What will the charges be?
The charges will include:
- Fixed water and waste water charges.
- Roads and surface drainage.
- Volumetric charges if the property has a meter.
Fixed charges for unmetered premises and drainage charges for all properties will be based on the Rateable Value of the property. Fixed charges for metered properties will be based on the size of the meter.
In order to help landlords’ and property owners’ manage the details and occupancy status of their properties, a useful portal has been created by the water industry in Scotland – The Scottish Landlord Portal. Updates to this portal are automatically passed to water suppliers and means when a tenant moves in, the billing can be transferred to the relevant party as quickly as possible. Current legislation under The Water Resources (Scotland) Act 2013 states that water suppliers must be notified when there is a change of occupancy or where the property becomes vacant. This means that, as an owner of a commercial property, you must keep us up-to-date regarding certain details of each of your properties otherwise you will become jointly and severally liable for any charges that may fall due.
THE SCOTTISH LANDLORD PORTAL
The Scottish Landlord Portal is a convenient service that allows commercial property owners, property associations, landlords, managing agents or councils (owners, or anyone acting on their behalf) to record all of their properties and enter details about each property such as tenants and billing responsibilities. It will also allow you to quickly and easily keep us informed if and when things change (such as changes in tenancy, or when your property becomes vacant). The Scottish Landlord Portal may be found at https://slp.cmascotland.co.uk/. For information on how to use the Scottish Landlord Portal, see our step-by-step guide below. If you would like further training or assistance, please contact us.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE
The overall objective of the Scottish Landlord Portal or SLP is to provide an easy to use web application to allow commercial property owners and managers in Scotland to log their commercial property portfolio and tenant details to ensure water and waste water services are correctly billed.
Security and Access
- The SLP Landing page will be the first page reached and will direct new Landlord Organisations to register their details before continuing.
- Any existing users can log in.
- Delegated authorities can create new users for their organisation by clicking the ‘new user’ button on the User List screen. User details can also be updated here.
Using Search Screens and Exporting Data
- Current data - users will be provided with a screen used to search for and to list properties. The properties list is derived from the properties known to the CMA central system. You can use the screen to identify and add new properties to your portfolio.
- If the property is registered to another Landlord erroneously, you will not be permitted to view the property details or to register as the owner until the previous owner has removed the property from their portfolio. You may need to contact your water supplier in this case.
- Once you have added a property to your portfolio you will be able to see vacancy status and customer details and if necessary can propose changes to these.
- Historic data - on the historic data screen you can view changes to properties that were in your portfolio during periods you specify. You can also view changes to your properties which occurred after the SLP became live.
- Other information like actual changes and proposed changes in SPID data, addition or removal of properties from the portfolio and addition or removal of landlord organisation detail changes, can also be viewed in the historic data tab
- Exporting reports following searches - users with export permission will be able to export lists of properties from the system by clicking the ‘Export Data’ button at the bottom of the data page
- From the history search page, all records which are returned to the screen can also be exported.
- Landlords can add properties to their portfolio using the “Add Property to Portfolio” button on the Current Data screen.
- The property details page will show all current details of a property and will be accessed by clicking the ‘View’ button from the Current Data List screen.
- A Delegated Authority User can edit their Landlord Organisation details by clicking on the ‘My Organisation Details’ link in the Administration menu. A Delegated Authority can also remove an organisation from the SLP.
- As a landlord you can propose a change to the SPID (Supply Point Identifier) data by editing the data values on the right. Once you submit your changes they will become visible to your water supplier who will decide whether to accept or reject the proposed change. Any actual changes are then made in the CMA Central System following standard processes used by the water supplier.
- A Delegated Authority can navigate to the reports page via the Administration>Reports menu.
- From here the delegated authority user can use the drop-down list to select one of the following reports to run: Log On Report, User History Report and User List Export.
- Log On Report will show a log of information for all of your organisation’s users (or for one user as specified).
- User History Report will show a history of user access privilege changes within your organisation. A single user can be specified or all users for the organisation will be shown.
- User List Export will provide details for all users in your organisation.
- A help FAQ page is provided on the SLP website and is divided in to the following sections: About the SLP, Access to the SLP, Reporting available from the SLP and Updates to the SLP.
- The full SLP User Guide can be found at https://slp.cmascotland.co.uk/.