Broadview Heights apartment complex without water for two days due to billing dispute

Building owner claims water bills are inaccurate

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio - Residents living in the Pinecrest Apartments in Broadview Heights just went through a tough experience: no water service for two days, and dwindling heat in their units.

Water service was interrupted to 200 tenants due to an ongoing billing dispute between the complex owner and the Cleveland Division of Water.

The owner of the complex told NewsChannel5 he believes Pinecrest Apartments have been overbilled by thousands of dollars, a billing battle that's been going on since 2005.

Ripley Diturno is a Pinecrest resident who is concerned the water service could be turned off again if both sides don't soon settle their difference.

"Yes, this could happen again very easily," explained Diturno. "It wasn't easy, going to Marc's all the time to pick up gallons of water, can't flush the toilet, can't do the dishes, can't take a hot shower. Just basically waking up everyday not knowing what to expect."

The owner of Pinecrest Apartments had to take the case back to court, and obtained a court order from a judge to get water service restored.

Residents were also in danger of losing their main source of heat, since many units at the complex rely on steam heating.

NewsChannel5 contacted the Cleveland Division of Water, and it vowed to quickly investigate the ongoing case.

Residents who find themselves caught in the middle of a billing dispute can contact their housing court.

A court supervised escrow account can be set up if a landlord isn't maintaining utility services. A tenant's rent will be held in the escrow account, and the landlord wouldn't be issued any rent money until the problems are resolved.

More information on tenant rights can be found on the Cleveland Tenants Organization website .

NewsChannel5 and newsnet5.com will keep you updated on this developing story.

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