Single Family Residential Customers -
Utility Reference Letters
Multi-Family Residential and Commercial Customers -
Surety Bonds or Irrevocable Letters of Credit
New customers seeking to initiate a single-family residential account may waive a security deposit by submitting an acceptable utility reference letter. As an alternative to making a cash deposit, full-service multi-family and commercial accounts may provide a deposit through an acceptable irrevocable bank letter of credit or surety bond. Accounts with less than full-service activity, such as water only or new construction accounts, are not eligible for alternative deposit coverage.
Utility Reference Letter
A utility reference letter provides written documentation of a customer's payment history with another water utility service provider. To be considered to waive a security deposit, you must activate new service at a single family residence and the utility reference letter must: be from a water utility service provider; be on the utility service providers letterhead; include the phone number of the utility service provider; be in reference to the same person initiating the new utility account; cover a credit history no older than 1 year from the initiation date of the new utility account; and, meet our good credit criteria. For additional information, please contact the Utility Accounts Coordinator at 727-893-7341.
Surety bonds are issued by insurance companies. The terms for obtaining a surety bond are determined by the issuing insurance company. Customers usually pay an insurance premium based on the amount of surety bond coverage, but the cost of the bond varies on an annual basis. Surety bonds have to be issued in the name of the account owner and coverage must be equivalent to the account owners full-service deposit requirement. The surety bond makes the insurance company liable for payment in case of default on any utility bills of the customer acquiring the surety bond.
If the customer fails to pay, the City of St. Petersburg will file on the bond for payment up to the limit of the bond. Additionally, surety bonds are reviewed every six months to ensure adequate coverage. Should an additional amount be required, the original bond is amended by a rider to reflect the required total coverage. On an annual basis, a letter of confirmation is sent to the insurance companies to ensure continuous coverage. The Utility Accounts Coordinator is responsible for maintaining the bonds. Questions regarding a surety bond may be directed to the Utility Accounts Coordinator at 727-893-7341.
The City of St. Petersburg requires surety bonds to be on our original form which can be obtained from the Utility Accounts Coordinator by calling 727-893-7341 or clicking on surety bond. When completed, please return the original document to the Utility Accounts Coordinator at PO Box 33037, St. Petersburg, FL 33731-8037.
An irrevocable letter of credit is very similar to a surety bond. Irrevocable letters of credit are obtained from financial institutions (banks or credit unions). The terms for obtaining an irrevocable letter of credit varies depending on the issuing financial institution. In addition, some issuing financial institutions will require a line of credit, liquid assets, or certificate of deposit in order to issue a letter of credit. A fee is typically charged on an annual basis. The letter is issued on the institution's letterhead and must be drawn upon a local bank (within Pinellas, Hillsborough or Sarasota Counties). Although there is no special form required, the letter must be automatically renewable unless the bank advises in writing by certified mail 60 days in advance of their intent to cancel. Letters of credit must be issued in the utility account owners name and must be for the amount of the full-service deposit requirement. If the customer defaults on payment of their final utility bill, the City of St. Petersburg is allowed to present a claim to the issuing institution for payment of an amount not greater than the amount specified on the letter of credit. In essence, the bank guarantees payment of the deposit amount towards unpaid final utility bills. The Utility Accounts Coordinator maintains Letters of Credit. Questions regarding a Letter of Credit may be directed to the Utility Accounts Coordinator at 727-893-7341.
The City of St. Petersburg requires letters of credit to be on our original form which can be obtained from the Utility Accounts Coordinator by calling 727-893-7341 or clicking on Letter of Credit. When completed, please return the original document to the Utility Accounts Coordinator at PO Box 33037, St. Petersburg, FL 33731-8037.