Mesa woman says utility deposits are unacceptable

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MESA, Ariz. -- When Rebecca Boyle moved recently, it was important to stay close by to her grandkids.

But, staying within her budget was also important.

"My budget, I was trying to stay about $500 give or take a little. The home rents for $450," said Boyle.

The home Boyle found, she says, was perfect.  It was even in Mesa's Historical District.

"Oh, it was exactly what I wanted," said Boyle.

Boyle paid her first months rent for the home but then ran into a big problem.

"The rent was very reasonable, the utilities however, I can't afford to get on," Boyle stated.

Boyle's utilities are provided by the City of Mesa, and she says Mesa was demanding an unreasonable security deposit.
"They are more than the rent to get them turned on, $600 to get all of the utilities turn on," Boyle explained. "They have no options for you, it's come up with all of it or none."

3 On Your Side spoke with The City of Mesa. A spokesman said the amount sounds high,
but argued that it is for all utilities, which includes water, sewer, trash service, gas and electric.

If you lived somewhere else and paid those deposits separately, the city says it would equate to the same amount they demand.

However, Boyle disagrees and says it's not something she budgeted for and now she's not sure what she's going to do.

"Right now, I have nowhere to go. I have spent my money on rent on this home for this month," said Boyle.

Boyle can't move in because although she can afford the rent, she can't afford to turn her utilities on.

Many companies run your credit, and if you have good credit, you don't have to put down a deposit.

But in Mesa, if you live in this particular area, you have to put up that $600.