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Change of Consumership

Approval for consumership may be granted in accordance with Section 7 of the Waterworks Ordinance:

"The Water Authority may approve, as the consumer of a fire service or inside service in any premises, any person who -

  1. occupies the premises; or
  2. is responsible for the management of the premises or any part thereof; and
  3. gives an undertaking, in such form as the Water Authority may specify, -

    1. to pay any charge due in respect of the fire service or inside service; and
    2. to accept responsibility for the custody and maintenance of the fire service or inside service and the custody of any meter pertaining to the fire service or inside service."

In this regard, the person who occupies or is responsible for the management of the premises is required to make an application for taking up the water consumership of the premises. Please note that a deceased person cannot undertake the responsibilities of a registered consumer as stipulated in the Waterworks Ordinance and Waterworks Regulations.  If no application is received, we may disconnect the water supply.  Once the supply is disconnected, the consumer has to pay a reconnection fee for reconnecting the inside service.

Moving In (Taking Up Accounts)

Any person, who occupies the premises or is responsible for the management of the premises, should apply to be the registered consumer of water supply.    Both domestic and non-domestic applicants are required to give an undertaking and to pay a water deposit and charges required by the Waterworks Ordinance and Waterworks Regulations.  If there is outstanding water charges in the ex-registered consumer’s account, applicant may be requested to produce documents such as solicitor’s letter, stamped tenancy agreement, or purchases agreement, etc. for our verification of the effective date of taking up of consumership.
 
Application can be made in personal capacity or in the name of a company through the following channels:

By Post, By Fax or By Email

Applications may be made either by post or by fax or by email. The completed application form (Note 1) should be sent together with a photocopy of the applicant's Hong Kong Identity Card or Passport or the Business Registration Certificate as appropriate to the Water Supplies Department (WSD).  Applications will normally be completed within 7 working days.

Type of Application
1. If ex-registered consumers have separately submitted their applications for closure of account but the meters have not yet been removed, new occupiers should use Form WWO1 for taking up accounts.
2. If new occupiers can contact the ex-registered consumers - direct or through property agents - to agree on a date of change of consumership and jointly complete Form WWO 1145 for change of consumership, account information such as address of service premises and meter number should be verified by the ex-registered consumers and the new occupiers together. This arrangement can lower the chance of incorrect information being provided by new occupiers that may lead to wrong change of consumership.
3. If there are no water supplies to the service premises or the water supplies to the service premises have been disconnected, i.e. the meters have been removed, new occupiers should pay a re-connection fee of $380 in addition to a deposit. In this circumstance, they should use Form WWO 542 for application.

Note 1: The forms are also available at our Customer Enquiry Centres (CEC), the District Offices, through the WSD’s Enquiry Hotline or WSD's website.

In Person

The completed application form (Form WWO 1 or Form WWO 1145 or WWO 542) can be submitted in person at any one of WSD’s CEC. In general, the processing time is within 15 minutes after the provision of all the required information. The consumer may collect the deposit demand note at the same time if the change of consumership is effective on or before the date of application. However, for applications in person to effect a change of consumership on a date set beyond one month from the application date, CECs may only process the application in due course. The deposit demand note will be sent to the applicant by post after the effective date.

By Phone

Applications for taking-up of domestic supply or flushing supply in personal capacity may be made by calling the WSD’s Enquiry Hotline. In general, the processing time is within 15 minutes after the provision of all the required information.

Through Internet

Applications may be made through the Internet (for applications for domestic or flushing supplies in personal capacity only) provided that there are water supplies to the premises. In general, online take-up application will be completed within 7 working days after the provision of all the required information (Note 2).

Note 2: For cases where there are no water supplies to the premises or the water supplies have been disconnected, (i.e. the meters have been removed) please either come to our CECs or download Form WWO 542 to apply for water supply. The completed form can be submitted by post or fax or email to WSD or in person at any one of WSD’s CECs.

Policy Adopted in Processing Applications

In line with our policy of providing customer-oriented service, we will process a take-up application irrespective of whether the existing registered consumer has applied for the closure of his/her account or not. There will be delays if we are to process and approve only those applications where the existing registered consumers have applied for closure of accounts or have already been granted approval for their applications. For example, new tenants of rented premises may suffer long delays in taking up the accounts as they usually do not have knowledge of the previous tenants and thus cannot make contact with them to request closure of the accounts. In practice, once we have received an application for taking-up of an account, a new account will be set up for the new consumer to facilitate the issue of the deposit demand note and the arrangement for maintaining water supply to the premises. We will also separately issue a written notification and then a final bill to the closed account’s mailing address with a bill message advising the ex-registered consumer that his/her consumership has been terminated and he/she may contact us if he/she has any enquiries.

Moving Out (Closing Accounts)

The current water deposit for a domestic account is $400. Many registered consumers did not apply for closure of accounts and a refund of the deposit when they moved out of their premises. Some might have lost the deposit receipts, while some might simply consider the amount of the deposit not worth the trouble to request refund. However, so far as they were the registered consumers, they would remain liable for payment of water charges in respect of their former premises even though they had physically moved out and did not use the water concerned. In many cases their lack of action had led to heavy financial losses, which in some cases were as high as tens of thousands of dollars.

To protect their own interest, registered consumers should submit their applications for closure of accounts to WSD within 30 days (but not less than 14 days) before the effective date of termination of their consumership when they cease to be the owner, tenant or occupier of the premises.

For more details of applications for closure of account, please visit "Closure of Accounts and Refund of Water Deposit".


Related Links

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