Water Shut-Offs Hurting Oakland-Area Tenants In Foreclosed Homes; Rent-Skimming Landlords Stiffing Local Utility District
- With five kids at home, including an infant, Kimberly Isaac-Ray knows her family cannot go without water. But when her landlord went into foreclosure, and a bank took over the duplex where she lives, Isaac-Ray found herself without utilities. She was able to convince the East Bay Municipal Utility District to restore her water service after one day.
- Ida Hancox and her family weren't as lucky. They went three days without water in their foreclosed-upon apartment. Their foreclosed landlord had disappeared, and the bank stopped paying the utilities. "Tenants should not suffer because of someone else's mistake," Hancox told the board of directors this week.
- Directors agreed and set a moratorium on water utility shutoffs in any situation where a tenant is left in a foreclosed building. The moratorium will continue through March 11, when the directors plan to consider policy changes to deal with foreclosures and utility shutoffs, including changes suggested by Just Cause Oakland, a tenant group.
For more, see Group argues for tenant rights in case of landlord foreclosure (East Bay residents say their utilities were turned off because their landlords missed mortgage payments).
For story update, see Panel considers ban on water shut-off to tenants in foreclosed buildings. (3-7-2008)