Mobile home park residents keep looking for answers after outrageously high water bills. One man fought back — and won

News4JAX has identified more than half a dozen other tenants who said their water bills have been sky high

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Residents of a Jacksonville mobile home park have been speaking out and expressing frustrations to the News4JAX I-TEAM after they were hit with outrageously high water bills.

On Tuesday, a Navy veteran said Three Seasons Mobile Home Village on the Westside threatened to evict him in 2018 if he didn’t pay his one-month bill of more than $1,400.

“She said, ‘Well, it’s 1,400.’ And I said, ‘Excuse me?’ So, obviously, that kind of took my breath away,” said the man, who asked to remain anonymous.

MORE | ‘Something is not right’: Mobile park home tenants demand answers after unusually high water bills | Disabled veteran gets $2,200 water bill, landlord threatens to evict her if not paid

The retired Navy sailor said he refused to pay the bill because the third-party plumbers he hired didn’t find any leaks on his property. And because he worked for the Navy, he had free legal advice. He ended up going through a two-year legal battle with the mobile home park and eventually, the park dropped the case.

Court documents obtained by News4JAX reveal the man had a licensed plumber inspect his home in 2018 after getting the bill and the plumber determined there were no signs of any leaks or any other plumbing issues that would cause that much water usage.

“I was told that mine could have filled several Olympic-sized swimming pools had the amount of water that they were billing me for actually been produced. And also the plumber added, to just as a little oh by the way, he said this home, he said, even if you turned on every faucet and both bathtubs and left the toilets running he said in a 30-day period you would not be able to use this much water,” the Navy veteran said.

He said he feels fortunate that he had legal assistance readily available to him through Naval Station Mayport to provide him with an affordable option to fight the park in a court of law.

According to court documents, the park was previously called New Three Seasons. It opened the case against him in October of 2018, and it dragged on until March 2020, when lawyers for the mobile home park entered a motion to dismiss the case and settle all outstanding legal issues.

To this day, the veteran said he doesn’t know why they dropped the case and added the mobile home park never did any repairs to his water line.

He said he believes the low-income tenants in the mobile home park aren’t equipped financially to fight back, and the park is taking advantage.

“I think they believe the folks, that common folk that live in here are uneducated, don’t know they have rights. And to put it in simple terms, they’ll be bullied around and they’ll just fold and pay under the fear of they’re going to be evicted. You know, like I said, I’m blessed with some opportunities that I have to defend myself as far as legal. And I got advice. You know, not everybody can afford an attorney. I understand that,” he said. “Something has got to be done to stop this. This is crazy. This is crazy.”

News4JAX has been in contact with attorneys for the mobile home park, but the owners or their attorneys have not issued a statement.

It’s still unclear why the bills are so high.

Last week, News4JAX spoke to a disabled veteran who also lives at the park and was threatened with eviction if she didn’t pay her $676 water bill for the month of August. Kelly O’Neil said her water bill was normally $30 a month.

About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.