Letting agents in certain areas of the UK will have to face up to important changes over the next few weeks on behalf of their landlords.

They concern the obligation of landlords to file certain information about their tenants with the water authority.

If they do not notify this information, then landlords will be held jointly liable for the tenants’ water debt.

While most properties affected are in Wales, some homes are not: landlords and their agents in parts of Cheshire, Merseyside, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Gloucestershire will find their properties are also taken in by the changes to properties in the Welsh Water and Dee Valley Water areas.

The obligations do not include the Severn Trent authority areas.

In the areas affected, however, landlords could be held responsible for tenants’ water debt within as little as three weeks from January 1.

They, or their agents, will have to supply the full name of the tenant, date of birth, date of the start of the tenancy, plus the property address.

For existing tenants, this information must be filed by January 21. For new occupants after January 1, this information must be filed within 21 days.