As a tenant, it can feel overwhelming knowing that you can’t access certain water bill services when the account isn’t in your name. The good news is: you can change that by requesting to be added to the account. This way, you are authorized to have water service in your name. But most importantly, becoming a water customer unlocks the following bill-related services for you:

  1. Arranging payment agreements
  2. Calling the Meter Shop for service
  3. Applying for assistance
  4. Disputing charges, and
  5. Requesting a waiver of penalties

You can also access account and billing information as an authorized user on the account.

What you need

Tenants can apply to have water service transferred in their name. But you will need the property owner’s authorization, usually in the form of a lease, a letter, or a prior court determination of a rental agreement. The lease must specifically state that you are responsible for the water bill. A complete list of required documents for the tenant application is available on our Tenants webpage.

If applying as an occupant, and don’t have a signed rental agreement with the property owner, you will need evidence of the owner’s authorization for you to reside in the home. This could be a notarized letter, a letter from the Executor or Administrator of the estate, among others. Visit our Occupants webpage for a full list of required documents.

From the scenarios cited above, you can see that tenants and occupants aren’t the same in this context. Tenants have rental agreements with property owners; occupants are granted permission or have an inherited right to live in the home. They don’t necessarily need a lease or rental agreement.

Applying is easy

Since tenants and occupants are two different groups of potential applicants, we’ve developed two separate forms. Visit our “Become a water customer” webpage, select “Tenants” or “Occupants” for guidance on how to access and complete each form.

The best part? The forms are fillable, allowing you to easily complete them online! They are also accessible in Spanish and Chinese. If you don’t have a scanner, take pictures of your supporting documents with a cellphone, and attach them to your application.

Many ways to submit

You can email your completed application to or drop it off at the Municipal Services Building (MSB)—look for the Intake Unit’s drop-box located in the lobby.

We recommend that you make an appointment to submit your application in person. You can schedule an appointment online or call (215) 685-6300, press 0, then option #3 to request a callback.

If you would rather mail in a paper application, send your documents to:

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

For questions about the application process or a pending application, please call (215) 685-6300.