Contact 9: Tenants have no water, landlord didn't pay bills - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Contact 9: Tenants have no water, landlord didn't pay bills


Neighbors along a small apartment complex off West Hernandez in Ascension parish are fed up.

"We go through this time after time and month after month and it's getting ridiculous. We shouldn't have to go through that," said Jeremy Mitchell outside of his apartment.

Tuesday, Jeremy Mitchell and his neighbors are happy to have running water. In a few days that may not be the case.

Jeremy and his neighbors got a notice from the Ascension Water Company saying water to the complex is about to be cut off due to non-payment.

The problem is the landlord is the one responsible for the water bill. It's worked into the tenant's rent.

"We've got our water cut off at least eight times since I've been here," Mitchell said. "And it's like if I try to take a bath and go to work I can't. I can't brush my teeth; I can't wash my face or take a bath because the water is cut off. And it's a constant problem with him," Mitchell added.

Brad Sanchez owns the building in question. Sanchez says a couple of tenants are sometimes late with their rent, which stops him from paying the water bill.

But the landlord also admits, he too has fallen on hard times and sometimes either forgets to pay the water bill or just doesn't have the money.

When asked about the times tenants have paid their rent on time and the water was still shut off due to non-payment Sanchez said it happens.

"Well, yeah, just financial issues of course and then of course, me not paying my bills or keeping up with them, like I should, you know," Sanchez admitted.

Resident Jeremy Mitchell says that's not enough.

"We called him the first couple of times it happened and he told me that they were working on it. And I come outside and I see no one working around the water meter or no one digging up pipes or anything, so I call him back and tell him, ‘look the water's off and nobody is outside working on the water,' and he says, ‘Oh well I got to go pay it.'"

The landlord says he is preparing to evict Mitchell and his neighbor because he says they do not pay their rent on time.

"Outside of them not paying the rent, there have been times when it just got away from you," we asked Sanchez.

"Well yeah. I have a lot of bills and sometimes I'll put some off or I'll forget to pay one, you know? I mean it just happens. The building is under contract now, so hopefully I won't have to deal with it no more come next month," Sanchez said.

"I talked to the judge Friday and basically I'm too nice. You know? I can't be a landlord and be nice to them because that's what happens; they use that against me and they have, like this month," Sanchez added.

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