When a landlord says that the cost of water is included in the rent, one might assume that this landlord is dutifully paying that water bill on time, or at least every few years. But tenants at an apartment complex in Georgia recently found out that the owners of the buildings hadn’t paid the water bill in five years — and that the water would be shut off in a week.
“We either continue to live here without water or find another place to stay within seven days,” one tenant tells Atlanta’s Channel 2 after she came home to find a notice from the water company. “So many families are going to be affected by this.”
The source of the trouble goes back five years to when the former owners of the complex sold each of the apartment buildings to a separate owner. But all the water supplied to the buildings continued to be billed under one account that was never paid — and is now more than $100,000 past due.
“You can’t tell me you don’t have the empowerment and the authority to sit down and figure out who is responsible and work it out,” the tenant says.
Some tenants had already begun moving out when the Channel 2 cameras showed up.
The owner of one of the buildings claims that the bill has now been paid — though he would not show a receipt — and that each of the buildings would soon have its own water meter so this wouldn’t happen again.
That or the owners could learn how to do basic division.