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Change of Consumership

Approval for consumership may be granted in accordance with Section 7 of 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."

Please note that a deceased registered consumer cannot undertake the responsibilities of a registered consumer as stipulated in the Waterworks Ordinance and Waterworks Regulations. In this regard, the person who occupies or is responsible for the management of the premises is required to take up the water consumership of the premises. If no application for taking up consumership 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. Application can be made in the name of a person or a company. Both domestic and non-domestic applicants are required to give an undertaking [using Form WWO 1 or Form WWO 1145 or Form WWO 542] and pay a water deposit. New occupiers should note that a re-connection fee of $380 in addition to the deposit will be charged 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. And under this circumstance, they should use the Form WWO 542 for application. To avoid the need for reconnection, new occupiers are strongly advised to try to contact the outgoing 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 service address and meter number can be verified by the outgoing consumers and the new consumers together, which will lower the chance of incorrect information being provided by new occupants that may lead to cases of wrong change of consumership. If outgoing registered consumers have separately submitted their applications for closure of account to the Water Supplies Department but the meters have not yet been removed, new occupiers should use Form WWO1 for taking up accounts. 

The three forms are available at our Customer Enquiry Centres (CEC), the District Offices, through the Water Supplies Department (WSD) Enquiry Hotline or the Department's website.

In Person

Applications in person at our Customer Enquiry Centres (CEC) will normally be completed in 15 minutes and the consumer may collect the deposit demand note at the same time. However, for applications in person to effect a change of consumership on a date set beyond one month from the application date, our 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 Post or Fax

Applications may be made by post or fax. The completed appropriate form should be sent together with a photocopy of the applicant's Hong Kong Identity Card or the Business Registration Certificate as appropriate to WSD. Applications will normally be approved in 7 working days.

By Phone

Application for taking-up of domestic supply and flushing supply in the applicant's personal name may also be made by calling the WSD Enquiry Hotline.

Through Internet

Applications may also 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. 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 Customer Enquiry Centres or download the Form WWO 542 to apply for water supply. The completed form can be submitted by post or fax (you may only fax applications for domestic or flushing supplies in personal capacity), or in person.

Required Documents

If there is outstanding water charges in the outgoing registered consumer’s account, applicant may be requested to produce documents such as solicitor’s letter, tenancy agreement, or purchases agreement, etc. for our verification of the effective date of taking up of consumership.

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 from the previous registered consumers 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 customer 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 final bill to the existing registered customer with a bill message advising him/her that his/her consumership has been terminated and he/she may contact us if he/she has any enquiries.

Moving Out (Closing Accounts)

The 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 or liabilities, 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 the Water Supplies Department 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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