Before 1795, Boston residents obtained their water from local wells, rain barrels, and a spring on the Boston Common.
When purchasing property, it is important that all matters regarding water and sewer charges to the property are finalized with the seller. To ensure that no unnecessary charges will be passed onto a buyer, a Certificate of Water and Sewer Charges (Lien Certificate) must be filed by the seller, buyer or real estate broker that will show a complete and final meter reading and that all previous charges to the property under the seller’s name have been paid. The Certificate of Water and Sewer Charges (Lien Certificate) should be presented at the property’s closing. This is to ensure that the new owner does not inherit the water and sewer bill from the previous owner.
The process is as follows:
The buyer, seller or real estate broker requests an application for a Certificate of Water and Sewer Charges (Lien Certificate) (see fee schedule below) and a final water meter read. This request can be made by calling BWSC’s Lien Department (617-989-7000) or by downloading the Certificate of Water and Sewer Charges (Lien Certificate) application form. The completed and signed application and corresponding fee charge can be mailed or filed in person at BWSC’s offices located at 980 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02119.
In most cases, a Lien Certificate can be obtained the same day. Otherwise, it can be picked up the following day after 11:00AM. Upon request, the Lien Certificate can be mailed or faxed.
In addition to the above, the new owner will need to complete a Change of Ownership/Billing Name form so that water and sewer bills will be sent to them. This form should be completed and submitted after the real estate closing. The form is available at BWSC’s offices (980 Harrison Avenue) or by downloading the Change of Ownership form. There is no charge for this service.
|Code||Housing Type||Lien Certificate Fee|
|A||Apartment Buildings (4 units or more)||$100.00|
|C3||Condo 1-3 Units||$25.00|
|CM||Condo Master (4 units or more)||$100.00|
|EA||Clause 121A Exempt||$50.00|