In less than a week, a Florida resident battling cancer won't be able to flush the toilet, take a shower or rely on her faucets for water to swallow something like, say, medication. Nor will her neighbors.
Tenants at a Hallandale Beach apartment complex received a notice that their water will be shut off come Monday because their landlord allegedly disappeared without paying 21 months worth of water and sewer bills. Those unpaid bills now exceed $14,000, according to CBS Miami. One tenant is Terri Mammarelli, who is enduring stage three cervical cancer, NBC Miami reports.
Kenny Johnson, another resident, told NBC Miami that the rent he and the other tenants pay is supposed to include utilities. "We don't receive any water bills," Johnson said. "Water, waste, electric and gas, if you have it, that's all included and bundled into the rent."
According to Florida law, even if tenants do not pay their rent, a landlord is not allowed to have the utilities terminated or do anything else to force out tenants from their rentals. A landlord must file a lawsuit to have the residents evicted.
The situation is less clear when the landlord takes off. City spokesman Peter Dobbens told NBC Miami that the phone number for the property manager of the apartment complex has been disconnected. Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper claims the city's hands are tied, according to CBS Miami.
This won't be the first time tenants end up suffering because of their landlord's failure to pay the bills on time. Earlier this year, the Frederick News Post reported that a Maryland man was surprised to find his shower without running water, after his landlord didn't make payments for utility services.
And last year in April, residents in Ft. Pierce, Fla., had to deal with no air conditioning and food rotting in their refrigerator when their landlord didn't pay the electricity bills, according to WPTV.
$44 Million Hospital Visit
Unemployed doorman Alexis Rodriguez <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/16/bronx-lebanon-hospital-center_n_1208921.html" target="_hplink">received a bill for $44.8 million from Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center</a>. Thankfully, the outrageous bill was the result of a billing company error, in which they mistakenly put the invoice number in the space where the invoice amount should go.
$201,000 Cell Phone Bill
Celina Aarons of South Florida received a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/18/celina-aarons-201000-cell-phone-bill_n_1017723.html" target="_hplink">43-page cell phone bill </a>adding up to $201,000. The bill was no mistake. Aarons, who also has her two deaf-mute brothers on her plan, forgot to change their data to international after the pair spent two weeks in Canada, accruing up to $2,000 in data charges.
Paying For Crime
After Loretta Robinson's son was killed by a drunk driver, she was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/24/loretta-robinson-mother-billed-cleanup-son-killed-by-undocumented-drunk-driver_n_1622301.html" target="_hplink">billed for various charges, including a $50 charge to clean up her son's blood</a> from the road along with charges to tow and store the suspect's vehicle after the incident.
Auto Bill-Pay Nightmare
Alina Simone thought she didn't have to worry about her cell phone bill as she had set up auto bill-pay. However, when she finally checked her statement, she discovered that she was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/sprint-cell-bill-autopay_n_1310312.html" target="_hplink">being charged per text message</a>, racking up more than $700 in fees despite the fact that her plan entitled her to 1,000 free texts per month.
$37,000 In Sweets
A Middletown, Ohio teen got caught <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/10/teen-charged-with-billing_n_165531.html" target="_hplink">charging over $37,000 worth of candy</a> to his high school's purchasing number. After the company, The Goodies Factory, became suspicious, authorities arrested the 18-year-old at his home when he went to receive the empty package.
Breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/23/lisa-lindsay-breast-cancer-survivor-debtors-jail_n_1446391.html" target="_hplink">arrested after she refused to pay a $280 medical bill</a>, which was sent to her by accident.
Billed After Body Violation
A New Mexico woman was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/07/woman-sent-1000-bill-for-_n_952135.html" target="_hplink">billed for a mandatory body cavity search</a> after being accused of concealing heroin. The search turned up nothing and the woman was not arrested or charged, however she received a bill for $1,122 from the hospital that performed the search.
$16 Million Cable Bill
An Ohio man was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/04/time-warner-cable-bill_n_844506.html" target="_hplink">charged over $16,000,000 by Time Warner Cable</a> after he accrued some odd charges for watching the March Madness tournament. The bill was eventually blamed on human error.