Residents blame leak for doubling water bills, say management ignored complaints

ATLANTA — Residents said their water and sewer bills have doubled at their northeast Atlanta apartment complex. When they didn’t get a good explanation from management, they called Channel 2 Action News.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes spoke to tenants who told her about a leak they’ve seen on the property. She followed the water all the way to the back of the complex.

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Danny Lurie said his water and sewer bills have doubled at the Prato Apartments.

“It’s incredibly frustrating,” he said.

He’s now paying more than $200 a month for both, which wasn’t the case a few months back.

“From November it started going up,” he said.

Lurie said friends who live nearby are not having this problem.

“A couple who lives in Piedmont Park, their bill in total both water and sewer was $60 and they said that’s the most they’ve ever paid,” he said.

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Lurie said that when he went to management, they ignored his concerns.

Fernandes checked with Atlanta Watershed, who said its rates haven’t gone up since 2012. Next, she called the property owners, a company called Graystar based in Alabama. The company said it checked for leaks last month and didn’t find any.

Neighbors said there’s a car wash on property, and they’ve been looking at a leak for months.

“When you think about it, if there are 300 units at the Prato and all of our bills have gone up by like $100 or $150, that’s over $30,000, and for them to just say ‘oh, there’s no leak, no issue, we’re not gonna look into it,’ that just seems really bizarre to me,” renter Ronny Coombs said.

When Fernandes told the property owners about the leak, they said they would look into it.

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They also told Fernandes that the property has two pools, and they had an issue with one. They said that if they discover that it’s contributing to these rising bills, tenants here will get a refund.

“We’re battling. It’s difficult to try and make it at the end of the month,” Lurie said.

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