Cleveland man receives water bill over $2K for home he says has no water access

Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 6:18 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Michael Payne and his brother bought a house on Maud Avenue in Cleveland five years ago.

They were hoping to flip it and make a profit, but there’s an outstanding water bill that is keeping them from moving forward.

According to bill from the Cleveland Water Department, Payne owes them more than $2,000.

But Payne says that can’t be right because the water pipes in the house have been cemented shut since they owned the house, forcing them to call the water department.

“They’re wondering why we’re not taking care of this bill and we’re explaining, that we don’t have a bill because we never had the water on,” said Payne.

Payne showed 19 News two bills, the first from September of last year. Stating they owed $644, but the meter amount read zero.

The other was from a couple of months later, for more than $2,000. Again, the meter amount read zero.

Payne confused, and frustrated, he called the 19 News Troubleshooter team hoping we could help get this sorted out.

“A couple people have asked if we’re willing to sell it, but if we do they’ll be in the same situation we are,” said Payne.

Our team contacted Cleveland Water they told us Payne has been charged almost $20 a month for the past nine years for access to water.

When we asked how this could be since Payne said his pipes were cemented close, they said they had no record that there wasn’t access.

They suggested Payne sign up for an inspection so that they can confirm that this is the case.

Payne, agreed to do so immediately.