Help & Support

Changes to charging for vacant non-domestic properties in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has decided that from 1 April 2017, all businesses and non-domestic properties regardless of occupancy will be liable for water service charges where these are connected to services. This means that vacant properties will now be liable for charges in the same way as those that are occupied. The charges include those for all of the water and wastewater services to and from the property.

“The introduction of these charges is on the basis that vacant properties benefit from water and sewerage services and should therefore pay for them. Without such a move, charges would have to increase by 5% over the period to 2021.”  Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform 

So what do you need to do?

1. Property still vacant

If the property is vacant and you don’t want to be liable for these charges, you can look at getting the services disconnected.  There will be a charge for this and disconnections are permanent and, in general, are only suitable for properties which are expected to be demolished. If a water supply and/or a sewerage connection is required at some date in the future, the property owner will need to meet the costs of connecting to Scottish Water’s water mains and sewers. Please get in touch if this is something you would like to do and we can talk to you about your options.

2. Property no longer vacant

If the property is no longer vacant the details can be updated centrally. Let us know and we can update them for you.

If you’re an owner of non-domestic properties you need to ensure that you’re registered with a Licensed Water and Sewerage Provider. A list of providers is available at: 

The Scottish Landlord Portal

A portal has been developed which can help you manage the details and occupancy status of your properties. By using this, any updates to occupancy status or additional information will be passed automatically to us.

Click here to go to the Landlord Portal

You can find more details on the Scottish Government’s website: or if you need more information or to discuss this please let us know. 


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