Residential property
12 Sep 2017 News

Scottish Water - Updated Asset Vesting Policy to Benefit Housebuilders

Scottish Water’s new vesting policy for apparatus on development sites was put into practice from the 1st of April 2017.

The change in policy is designed to allow Scottish Water to take on ownership and responsibility for the maintenance of apparatus installed on development sites at a far earlier stage than has historically been the case.

At present, Scottish Water estimates that there are over 18,000 assets in use which are not currently vested. Under the previous regime all properties on a development site would have to be connected to the system before Scottish Water would take on the assets. By not adopting assets until the end of construction of these sites, further problems arose relative to the deterioration of the assets over the period of the build, as well as the acceptable standards of apparatus changing over time. What was suitable for adoption at the start of a build in terms of the relevant consents might not be when the site was completed.

The new vesting policy makes significant changes to the previous regime. Scottish Water will now adopt apparatus following occupation of the second property on any site, allowing builders to commence the vesting procedure at a much earlier date. As an incentive for the builder to commence the vesting procedure, Scottish Water will retain all reasonable cost contributions (sewer reimbursements) made by the builder until all apparatus on a given site is vested. Scottish Water advise that this incentive works both ways, as they don’t want to be in a position where builders are continually chasing for the return of the reimbursements.

The reimbursements will be released to the builder when the transfer certificate and completion certificate relative to the assets are issued, and vesting is complete. The two year defects period where the builder is responsible for any repairs required to assets will remain in force, however Scottish Water will release reimbursements during this time period and rely upon their contractual rights to enforce the defects period.

The benefits to both builders and Scottish Water of the new policy are clear, and should allow the transfer and adoption of assets to be dealt with early within the lifetime of a site, requiring far less time to be employed by builders, as well as allowing them to recoup their sewer reimbursements at a far earlier stage.

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