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November 1, 2002

Tenant's Water Shut Off For 10 Days

From: WEWS, OH
Nov. 1, 2002

Landlord Fails To Pay Bill

CLEVELAND -- With temperatures dropping, heat and water are valuable utilities to have.

NewsChannel5's Joe Pagonakis reported that Kathleen Grantham's water stopped flowing because her landlord didn't pay the bill.

She is def woman on welfare who rents a home in Cleveland on West 46 Street. Cleveland Councilman Nelson Cintron and Grantham's neighbor, Betty Keller called NewsChannel5 for help.

"That's all (Grantham) kept telling me. The toilet was so bad because she had no water to flush (it). They were using buckets to gather water, both of them," Keller said.

Grantham and her deaf friend Don were forced to collect rainwater, just so they could wash and go to the bathroom.

Cintron said the water service stopped because the landlord, Nasser Assad, owes the water department more than $500, though Grantham has receipts stating that she's paid $450 in rent, every month.

"(The landlord) is ripping them off because they're handicapped. He knows she's not going to do anything, (and that) she's scared to death of anybody," Keller said.

But it's not just a lack of water; Grantham's heat has also been shut off, forcing her to use space heaters, reported Pagonakis.

Cleveland's housing enforcement said Assad was in court over the conditions of this property in July 2000, and he still owes more than $2,000 in fines.

The water department restored service to Grantham's home. The Distillata Water Co. donated dozens of fresh gallons of water, along with a new water cooler.

Assad has since paid his past due water bill, and the housing court wants to talk to him.

Copyright 2002 by NewsNet5. All rights reserved.