12 On Your Side: Woman drains money into renting home without water

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Laquana Raymond couldn't wait to move into the small rental on Mercier Street this summer.

"It's been a long time since I've really been back on my own," she said.

But it didn't turn out as ideal as she thought it would be.

"I thought it was a good thing for me but turned out to be almost like a nightmare," Raymond said.

Raymond paid the landlord a $200 deposit plus $400 for the first month's rent. Only after she drained her bank account getting into the home did she realize the house was drier than her wallet.

"There was no water when I got the house," she said.

Raymond's rental home had no running water.

"No flushing the toilet, no washing, no cleaning," she said.

She made a trip to the Water Department where she learned a previous tenant stole water from the county and racked up fines at her address. Her landlord also owes money to Richmond County utilities. Not even Raymond herself can get the water turned on until the owner of the home pays the bill.

"Very angry," Raymond said.

She rarely stays at the house and is looking to move. However, she is going forward a little more cautious.

"I'm going to make sure I call the Water Department about the water situation before anything," she said.

The director of the Water Department advises anyone looking to rent to first call them to make sure there is not an outstanding debt on the home. Also, remember those pink stickers on windows means county has cited the landlord of the home.

Keep mind, the Water Department doesn't always allow new tenants to open an account. Many times they want the previous bill paid before reconnecting the water.

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