Moving your business from one property to another is a daunting task creating a seemingly endless list of jobs.
Right at the bottom of the list is dealing with the water supply. The taps are all working at the new office, so there’s not much to worry about, right?
Well, not quite. In this article, we set out what you need to consider for your water supply when moving properties.
Moving out of your business property
Let’s start with what you need to do in the property your business is vacating. Here are the three main things:
Terminating your business water contract
Happily, in a business water contract, you can always end your contract early if you’re moving out without incurring any fees. We recommend contacting your current supplier about your move 6-8 weeks in advance to avoid any complications in your move.
There are two different processes depending on whether you’ve ever signed a business water contract with a supplier:
i. You’ve never arranged a contract with your current business water supplier.
Most businesses in the UK have never entered into a fixed contract with their business water supplier. This means you’ll be paying for water supplies under a deemed contract paying default business water rates.
In this scenario, you’ll need to tell your business water supplier that you’re moving by filling out a simple form on their website. You can find their website details in our guide to business water suppliers.
If you don’t know your current supplier, check out our guide on who your business water supplier is.
ii. You’ve got a fixed contract with your current business water supplier
If you’ve taken advantage of the freedom of the open water market and recently switched business water suppliers, then you’ll have a fixed contract with your current supplier.
Terminating your fixed contract requires going through a process called “change in tenancy”. Each supplier will maintain their own change in tenancy form, which you’ll need to request. The form will include the following:
- Your customer reference number
- Supply point ID (SPID)
- Business address & postcode
- Your move-out date
- A forwarding address
- The landlord’s details (if applicable)
- Company Name
- Sole Trader
- Ltd Company
- Ltd Company Number
- New Tenant’s full name
- New Tenant’s email address
- New Tenant’s phone number
Most suppliers will ask you to provide proof of the change in address, usually in the form of a property sale agreement or lease end notice.
Final water meter readings
On the day you move out, you’ll need to take a water meter reading to tell you how much water your business has used.
Your business water supplier will calculate their final bill based upon the final meter reading.
Note: If you have a smart water meter, then this isn’t necessary, as your supplier will take this automatically.
Pay your final business water bill
A few weeks after you’ve moved out, your business water supplier will send your final business water bill to your forwarding address. Once paid, that’s everything sorted with the water supply on your old property.
Moving into a new business premises
Here are the three simple steps for arranging a water supply at your new property.
First water meter reading
We recommend locating your water meter when you first move into the property and taking a reading with a photograph.
This is just to ensure that you don’t end up paying for water used by the previous occupier.
Your business water supply
When you move into your new property, the water will likely already be working. From the date of your move-in, the supplier of the previous occupant will continue to supply the property under a deemed contract.
In a deemed contract, you’ll pay the regional default business water rates, but you can switch suppliers at any time.
Your new supplier may already have your details if the previous occupant has supplied them. If not, they’ll likely send you a letter requesting information about your business. This is so they can invoice your business for the water you’re using.
Compare business water suppliers
The default business water rates you’ll start paying are needlessly expensive.
Business water suppliers in England and Scotland compete to offer the best prices. In a few simple steps using the AquaSwitch business water comparison page, you’ll be able to collect quotes from multiple suppliers.
If you choose to proceed with your quote, we’ll arrange a hassle-free business water supplier switch on your behalf.
Switching business water suppliers doesn’t require any physical changes to your water supplier. It’s simply a paperwork exercise that will give you cheaper water rates.
Here are a few frequently asked questions about your water contract and business premises.
Where can I find the SPID Number?
When you move into a new property, you may not yet know your supply point ID.
After a few weeks, the current business water supplier should send a letter in the post with the property’s supply point ID.
If you need it sooner, get in contact with us at AquaSwitch, and we’ll be able to look your address up on the water database.
Can I switch business water suppliers when moving into a new property?
Yes, you can if the new property is in England or Scotland.
What do I do if the water supply has been disconnected?
A water supplier may disconnect a property if it’s vacant for an extended period or has long unpaid bills.
If you arrive at your new property and the water connection is disconnected, then:
Unfortunately, you may need to incur a reconnection charge. There are options for temporary water supplies; see our page on business water interruption.