MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Residents at an East Memphis townhome community won’t be losing power and water during the holidays.
On Nov. 26 we spoke with people living at the Ridgeway Commons who received a letter from MLGW saying shared utilities would be turned off in Decemeber because the landlord hadn’t been paying the bill.
The utility says the account has since been paid.
We also heard back from management at the complex, who tell us MLGW had still been billing a previous management company, causing the confusion.
It could have been lights out and no water service for more than 120 families living in an East Memphis apartment complex. MLGW sent all the tenants at the Ridgeway Commons Town Homes a cut-off notice. Residents say they’re shocked since their water bill is included with their rent payments.
Trevor Finney moved into Ridgeway Commons at Quince and Ridgeway about four months ago. He strung Christmas lights on his back porch but the holiday sparkle could dim in the coming days if the owner of the complex doesn’t pay the MLGW bill.
"We need to fix that now," said Finney. "That's pretty stupid not to pay it."
MLGW confirmed to WMC Action News 5 on Monday, Nov. 25 that the cut-off notice is a result of non-payment on the account for the 127-unit property. Renters recently received a a termination warning saying their water and/or electricity could stop working Dec. 5.
"If you have life support," the notice says, "security devices or health issues that require active utility services, you may need to make alternative arrangements."
"That means we can't take showers," said Finney, "and I can't do any of my business at home. I can't do the stuff that actually keeps me alive."
Another resident at the Ridgeway Commons emailed WMC Action News 5. She's an older woman with health problems, terrified she won't have running water and that the lights in the parking lot will go dark, making it very dangerous to come and go from the complex.
“We have lived her 21 years and have never had anything like this happen,” she wrote. “We pay our bill timely each month. I am 72 years old and do not know where to turn.”
Finney also worries about his next door neighbors.
"They're an elderly couple," he said, "and I see him out getting his paper every day. He always says hi. What if he falls or something like that, you know?"
A Dallas-based firm, RCTN Apartments LP, bought Ridgeway Commons last year for $8.65 million. The seller told our partners at The Memphis Business Journal "RCTN purchased the property in hopes of significantly raising rents."
Finney would just like to see RCTN come up with the money needed to cover the utility bill.
"They should probably pay that," he said, "otherwise we're going to be out of power and water and everything else."
WMC Action News 5 reached out to the Ridgeway Commons leasing office Monday afternoon for comment, and we were told the manager would get back to us. We never heard back by our deadline late Monday night.