$1,100 Water bill Phoenix man says he shouldn't have to pay

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix man says water is included in his rent, so why is the man getting stuck with an $1,100 water bill?

But that bill isn't just from one month, it's from an entire year's worth of water use.

It's a bill this guy shouldn't be getting stuck with at all.

“I'm the only provider for my family, my daughters and my two grandsons," said Anthony Holmes.

Holmes works hard to support his family and says the last couple of years have been extremely difficult.

“Well, I've been here for a year and a half. My children's mother passed away in 2008 and we've been here for a year and a half," Holmes explained.

Holmes says after that tragedy, they needed to find a more affordable place to live, and that's when he found this Phoenix condo to move into.

“They ended up charging me $415 a month which was really good and the water was paid for.  All I had to do was pay the electricity, and the cable and whatever else I needed to pay," said Holmes. “A year and a half later the water came to shut the water off. I asked them why and they said the water hadn't been paid in 2-months.”

After looking into the situation, the City of Phoenix discovered the issue was even worse because Holmes' water bill hadn't been paid in a year.

“So I went down to the water place and gave them all the paper work and everything and they told me that it was my problem for not paying the water, it was called water theft," Holmes said.

Water theft?! Holmes' rental agreement clearly shows that the water is "paid." So he asked the property management company to look into the matter and they discovered the owner of the condo hadn't paid for water in close to a year.
"They told me, that the owner wasn't going to pay for it," Holmes remarked.

To make matter worse, Holmes was being billed $1,100 for all of that unpaid water.

“I called channel 3 On Your Side, Gary Harper, I don't know what else to do, I don't have any money to go to court, and I don't have any money to do anything with," he stated.

3 On Your Side contacted Holmes' property management company which acknowledged it was the owner's responsibility and not Holmes' to pay for water.

To quickly resolve the issue, the property management company paid the $1,100 water bill, and said it will make sure it gets paid every month from now on.

Holmes says it's a weight off of his shoulders.