Saturday, August 25, 2012

Unpaid Water Bills, Open Termite/Rat/Leaky Roof-Related Code Violations Leave Tenants Feeling Stranded By Rent Skimming Landlord Facing Foreclosure

In Hallandale Beach, Florida, WTVJ-TV Channel 6 reports:

  • Water still flowed from the faucets of a Hallandale Beach apartment complex on the day the city threatened to shut off its water supply. The complex's residents received a notice last Tuesday from the city that said the building’s owner has not paid for water in 21 months, and therefore owes over $14,000.

    Resident Kenny Johnson said the issue has affected his daily activities. "I can't eat. I can't sleep. I'm not going to cry, but I have cried," he said Monday, the day the city said it would shut off the water.

    Johnson and his dogs plan to stay at the home for now, but with health issues, he said the problem couldn't have come at a worse time. "I really need to be in the hospital, but how can I leave the premises under these circumstances?" he asked. The three-year resident told NBC 6 South Florida he has paid his rent, which includes water, on time every month.

    In addition to the notice, Johnson also received a letter from the property owner’s attorney. It said the complex is in the foreclosure process and is asking residents to pay the water bill debt.

    "Regarding the water and garbage account, tenants are advised to keep their rent for August and combine the rents to make a down payment and get a payment plan from the City of Hallandale Beach," the letter read.

    "Why should we have to be on the hook to pay for that?” Johnson asked.

    Peter Dobbens, a spokesman for the city of Hallandale Beach, said the complex’s property owners have also received multiple code violations stemming from termites, rats and leaky roofs.

    Johnson doesn't know who owned the property before the foreclosure process, but had a clear message for them. "It's just outrageous, so to the owners, how dare you. How dare you let us down," he said.
Source: Water Still Running in Hallandale Beach Complex Burdened by Debt (One resident said he has paid his rent, which includes water, every month for three years).

See also Hallandale Beach To Cut Off Water to Apartment Residents Over Huge Bill (Hallandale Beach spokesman Peter Dobbens said the building owner has not paid for water in 21 months).

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