The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many important City services. Among these is the Water Revenue Bureau’s ability to process in-person Tenant and Occupant water customer applications. The Department recently launched a new application process to set up water service in your home. If you plan to apply for the City’s water affordability programs, you’ll need to set up service and put the water bill in your name.

First, if you want to set up water service in your home, it’s important to know the difference between a tenant and occupant water customer.  Tenants usually have a rental agreement or lease with the owner or manager of the property. Occupants would have permission or an inherited right to live there without a rental agreement.

Separate forms are needed to address the two types of situations.  To keep things flowing, we’ve tried to streamline the process of getting water bills in your name by introducing new online tenant and occupant forms. You can now download the forms from our website, and submit them by mail or email if you’re:

  • A tenant in need of water service in the home you pay rent in, or
  • An occupant without a lease.

We asked Water Revenue’s Collections Manager, Paula Murphy to provide more information about the new forms.

What steps do you need to take to become a tenant or occupant water customer?

To become a tenant or occupant water customer you must complete an application and submit it along with the required documents.

The documents required for the tenant application are:

  • Current government issued photo ID (if mailing, only send copy),
  • Lease agreement or letter from owner authorizing you to receive the water bill in your name,
  • Current utility bill and a meter reading.

The documents required for the occupant application are:

  • A letter of administration or letter from owner confirming occupancy status,
  • Current government issued photo ID (if mailing, only send copy),
  • Current utility bill and a meter reading.

It’s important to keep in mind that the rental property must have a current rental license.  Owners and property managers can go to :  for more information.

Can you tell us more about the Customer Assistance Program and how a customer would apply?
Yes of course! Putting the water bill in your name is especially important if you want to apply for the City’s Customer Assistant Program (CAP). CAP can help make your water bills more affordable if you struggle to pay.

With CAP, a customer’s income is used to determine their monthly payment amount. They are billed the same amount each month which saves them money and helps them to avoid falling behind on payments.

To apply, customers would simply check the box on the tenant or occupant application that asks if they would like to apply for the Tiered Assistance Program (TAP). An application with instructions will be mailed to them.


How and where does a potential customer submit their tenant or occupant applications for review and processing?
Applications and documentation can be submitted by email to: or mailed to:

City of Philadelphia
WRB Intake / CU – 3rd Floor
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19102

You can also use the Intake Unit drop-off box, located at the lobby level of the Municipal Services Building:
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.

What if the property has no water meter?
Every property in the City of Philadelphia must have a water meter.  If you do not have a water meter, or if there is a problem with your water meter, you should call the Meter Shop at (215) 685-3000.

What should you do if the property owner is deceased?
The property would need to have an administrator, or executor, legally handle the estate.  The executor of the property or estate would need to file a Certificate of Death with the Department of Records, which is located in Room 180 in City Hall.

Who can you contact if you have a question?
If you have questions about tenant and occupant applications, call the Contact Center at (215) 685-6300.