Tenants face eviction because landlord won't pay water bill - WNEM TV 5

Tenants face eviction because landlord won't pay water bill

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Nearly all of Flint's apartment complexes have paid up on delinquent water bills, except for one.

The people living there could lose their water on Thursday and possibly their home because their landlord hasn't paid up.

"I really don't know. I mean, this was our plan until taxes came in and we have enough money to move then," said Laura Comstock, tenant at Lakeside Apartments.

Comstock has three children and a baby on the way. She moved her family into the complex back in June. Now they're facing eviction, but not because of anything they've done.

"My plate's pretty full and we're just trying to figure out what we're going to do next," Comstock said.

Workers from the United Way, the Red Cross and Genesee Health Systems spent Wednesday morning knocking on doors to encourage tenants to go to the shelter to fill out paperwork for relocation assistance.

The landlord owes nearly $48,000 in past due water and sewer bills and has not made any attempts to resolve things with the city.

"The residents did everything right. This is not a case of the residents not paying a bill, they did that. The landlord is not following through," said Jamie-Lee Venable, with the United Way of Genesee County.

The city is threatening to shut off water on Thursday, but it's unclear if they will actually do that. What is clear is the heat will be cut off right before Christmas.

That's because Consumers Energy put out a shut off notice for the day before Christmas Eve.

Jeffrey McKew said he feels like he has been robbed.

"I paid $975 to move in here, $550 a month, all utilities paid. So it seems like a good place to be. I just paid my rent at the beginning of the month and then got hit with a notice it seemed like the next day," McKew said.

He said he plans to fill out the paperwork at the shelter.

"I have three daughters. It's kind of tough. I'm a cancer patient. I mean, I don't really know anything to do. I'm depending on state help, United Way, Red Cross and any news that can get it out there to help us," McKew said.

The city is asking for landlords with past due bills to pay at least December's bill plus 10 percent of their past due balance.

Tenants who have been paying for water and sewer services in their rent said they will be looking into legal options.

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