12 On Your Side: Mother living without water

12 On Your Side
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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A mother and her children have gone days without running water inside their home and the county says the landlord is responsible.

Taksheka Johnson says her landlord punishes her by turning off her water whenever she is a day or two behind in her rent.

"The kids can't bathe, they can't flush the toilet," the mother of five said.

Johnson has gone without water twice this month. Once for four days.

"It's in with the rent, but it doesn't matter if it's in with the rent, you're still not suppose to turn it off," she said.

News 12 On Your Side contacted the Utilities Department after investigating. They say Johnson's home does not have its own water meter. It runs off a neighbor's meter, which is against city ordinance.

According to Georgia law, it's illegal for any landlord to cut off utilities without going through the proper eviction process.

Johnson's water is now back on.

"I guess because I told him I was calling Channel 12, and he knew about the water department coming out here," she said.

The Utilities Department is asking the landlord to install a separate meter for Johnson's home.

Contact your local utilities department, sheriff's office and magistrate if you have issues with your landlord turning off your utilities.

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