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Czech Republic: Water cut to yet another building because landlord didn't pay

Děčín, 28.7.2014 19:05, (ROMEA)
The owner of this property failed to pay the water bill, so on 15 July water was cut off to the entire building on Vítězství Street in Děčín. Six families live here, all without running water. (PHOTO: Drahomír Radek Horváth)
The owner of this property failed to pay the water bill, so on 15 July water was cut off to the entire building on Vítězství Street in Děčín. Six families live here, all without running water. (PHOTO: Drahomír Radek Horváth)

The owner of yet another piece of real estate in the Czech Republic has not paid the water bill, so the water was shut off to the entire building on Vítězství Street in Děčín on 15 July. Six families are living there, all of them without running water.  

All of the tenants have been properly paying their rent and utilities, including their water bills, to the landlord. That company, however, has not been paying the utility.  

The vendor was forced to stop supplying the water due to the debts, which remain unpaid even after several calls to the landlord to settle them. "The water was turned off because the landlord, the Tenba firm, owes tens of thousands," Iveta Kardianová, a spokesperson for North Bohemian Water Supply and Sewerage (Severočeské vodovody a kanalizací - SČVK) told today.  

The tenants have attempted to contact the BGV property management firm, which is responsible for their building, but have received no response and the water remains off in the building for a second week now. "We paid properly. My son and his family live across the hall from me and he paid too," a resident of the building told news server

The woman said her son has children of pre-school age and is not the only family with children to be exposed to the conditions in the building. "I have to buy drinking water, and to flush the toilets I walk several hundred meters down to the Elbe River with a barrel. Things are complicated for me as a pensioner, but I have properly paid all my bills," the resident said, presenting receipts as proof.

Other tenants in the building are concerned that infectious diseases will spread in this situation. Moreover, the roof of the building, as can be seen from the attic, is in urgent need of repair and leaks in several places, which the owner of the property has also not fixed.  

"During this muggy weather all of the tenants are trying to rustle up water however they can. They go to their neighbors in the buildings across the street, to the Elbe River, or if their financial situations permit, they buy bottled water," a tenant told news server

The town hall, according to a statement issued Friday, refuses to solve the constant problems between the landlord and the tenants. However, a source very close to the Děčín municipal authority claims that the town councilors met today, Monday, and contacted both the real estate owner and the water utility.

"The owner promised to pay his debts today and the utility confirmed that once they receive payment they will renew the water supply," a source who did not want to be identified told news server The question is how long the tenants can hold out in such an extreme situation and when they will start moving out of the building.

The tenants say they don't know what will happen and mainly do not understand why they should have to leave, since they have always paid their agreed utility deposits and for their actual water consumed as part of their use of the apartments. Today's intervention by the municipal authority raises the hope that the scandal will come to an end as soon as possible. 

Drahomír Radek Horváth, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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