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Water frustrations at local mobile home park

By Meredith Machen, mmachen@wcyb.com
Published On: Apr 30 2013 09:06:07 PM CDT
GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. -

Frustrations erupt at a local mobile home park after tenants said their landlord didn't pay for their water, a service included in their rent.

The landlord says there's good reason.

It was a dry Tuesday for the Freshour 13-family mobile home park.

Tenants told us their landlord, Steve Rice, had their water turned off without warning, leaving them in a water-less bind.

"It ain't right. You go in there, you go to work, [have a] hard day; you want to take a shower. You know what, I didn't take a shower. I can't flush my toilet," said George Smith, a tenant we talked to.

Roger Wade and fiance Lisa Britton, two more tenants, felt the same way. "I'm a diabetic heart patient, and I can't take my medicine, because I don't have water to take it," said Britton.

So I asked Rice why there's no water.

"The water's off now, because in the last few weeks there's been several [tenants] that [have] gotten behind. They couldn't pay," said Rice.

According to Rice, not only do 11 of the 13 tenants owe rent, their water usage was out of control, so, he couldn't afford the bill.

"After three months of excessive water bills that should be running $800 a month, they went to $1,400, $1,600, $1,900, and now this last one $2,100," Rice explained.

George Smith and Roger Wade claim they are up-to-date on their rent.

We asked to see receipts, and Smith showed a receipt for $90 for the month of April.

Rice told me Smith still owes $160 more. Smith told News 5 he couldn't find his latest receipt.

Rice confirmed Roger Wade's rent is up to date, but he owes in property damage.

"Ironically, the two that don't owe me [anything] said 'don't worry about it,' because when they moved in, they moved in they needed help, and I let them move in with nothing," said Rice.

No matter who's to blame, there’s a call from all parties to keep these water woes from happening again.

We have been told by tenants and Rice that as of 8:30 this evening, the water has been turned back on.