PETERSBURG, Va. - A Petersburg woman says that for two years, she paid her rent, and it had her water bill included.
She says it should’ve been the same even when the property was sold and the new owner took over. But that didn’t happen, and she has since spent weeks and weeks without running water.
“It’s horrible. I can’t shower. I can’t cook or wash dishes,” Anna Lewis, who has been without water for 30 days, said.
She showed us her lease that says water is included in her rent.
“It says water, sewer, and trash are to be paid by owner," Lewis said.
In late June, the woman says she sent her rent to her landlord.
Then she found out that her building had been sold; however, the landlord told her she would forward the payment to the new owner, Eddy Rivera.
The previous landlord told CBS 6 Problem Solvers when she took the water out of her name, Rivera was supposed to start the service in his name.
She explained that one meter provides water for all 5 units on the property that she sold Rivera.
That previous landlord says when she got a call from Lewis saying the water was not working, she personally reached out to the new owner and was promised it would be restored.
“He said that he would have it turned on tomorrow. But tomorrow came and went,” Lewis said.
When Rivera allegedly stopped taking her calls, the previous landlord told CBS 6 that she stopped payment on Lewis’ rent check and returned her money.
Not having running water has been a costly inconvenience that has kept Lewis up for nights on end.
“I’ve had to go from house to house with friends. I was staying in Dinwiddie and was paying $35 a day to get back and forth to work. Just to get there and take a shower,” Lewis said.
The CBS 6 Problem Solvers reached out to the realtor who worked the sale. He said he was stunned the water issue hadn’t been resolved.
The realtor explained that the new landlord initially told him that he was having issues turning the water on.
When several weeks passed, he assumed the new landlord had resolved the issue.
Lewis says each day she makes the ten-minute walk home from work lugging 5 one-gallon jugs of water so she can at least flush the toilet.
She says not having running water has caused stress and is affecting her at work.
“I suffer from PTSD and this is frustrating. No one should have to live like this,” Lewis said.
The CBS 6 Problem Solvers reached out to the new owner three times on Wednesday to see how he plans to resolve this situation.
In the meantime, Lewis says she will consider filing court paperwork to put her future rent payments into an escrow account so that a judge can get involved.