DC Residents Go Without Water After Condo Owners Don't Pay Bills

Dozens of D.C. residents were without running water for about two days during the summer heat after a property management company didn't pay the bills.

Water had been shut off Tuesday without any notice to the 15 families that live at an apartment complex on Good Hope Road in Southeast.

Most of the residents -- many of them elderly couples -- rent their units from the condo owners. While residents were paying their rent, the people who own the condo units have not been paying the utilities.

DC Water said the condo association owed more than $20,000 in water bills.

"Many of the owners...don't pay their monthly condo assessments. This is not a new problem," said Karen Smith, the daughter of two residents in the building.

Smith and other residents' family members brought in bottled water while the water was off.

"It's hurting everyone. I'm hurting right now, not only for me and my 15-year-old son, but for my 80-year-old neighbors," said resident Antoine Harris.

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Later Wednesday afternoon, DC Water said a property manager made a partial payment of about $8,000, which was enough to turn the water on again.

Although water has been restored, residents said they worry the problem will happen again.

"A partial payment is just a Band-Aid to what's inevitably going to happen, especially with the other repairs that need to happen. It's just postponing the inevitable. Water will turn off. Electric will turn off, " Smith said.

DC Water said another bill of about $5,000 is due in more than a month.

However, the property manager declined to comment when News4 asked if there is enough money to pay that future bill.

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