Gas Service Shutoff By Rent Skimming Landlord In Foreclosure Leaves Unwitting Tenants Without Heat, Hot Water & Facing The Boot
In Whiting, Indiana, WBBM-TV Channel 2 reports:
- The owner of a Whiting, Ind. apartment building is leaving his tenants out in the cold -- literally. The residents say he lost the building to a bank without telling them and their heat was shut off before they could move out.
- Nicole Talavera has to dress her kids in coats just to stay in their apartment. "It's freezing," she said. "And then I have a 9-year-old and a 3-year-old." The thermostat read 50 degrees. Talavera says the gas has been shut off for several days now. "We had no idea about the landlord foreclosing," she said. "We were still paying rent."
- Last month, tenants say they got a letter from an attorney's office. It said the building was in foreclosure, and the tenants have until Feb. 16 to move out. NIPSCO says the property owner ordered the utility to shut off the gas Dec. 15. Roommates in a second apartment are surviving with a space heater in the living room. No gas means no hot water, either. "We actually were boiling pots of water, dumping them in the bathtub and actually sponge-bathing ourselves," Christopher Spedus said. "We've just been using tons of blankets, staying warm, and that's about it. But everything else is just really cold," another resident, [...] said.(1)
For the story, see: Tenants Lack Heat As Bank Forecloses On Building.
(1) Reportedly, the utility is expected to restore gas service Saturday, but it may not solve the heat problem as it appears vandals damaged the furnace, the story states.