JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The City of Jacksonville’s Office of Consumer Affairs is offering help to residents affected by unusually high water bills at the Three Seasons Mobile Home Park on the Westside.
This comes after the News4JAX I-TEAM reported on the story of a disabled veteran who paid more than $2,200 for two months of water in early September.
“I feel like I’ve been dropped in the twilight zone. What could I possibly do with all this water that I don’t have? I have no leaks, I paid plumbers, more than one to verify I have no leaks,” Kelly ONeil, Three Seasons Mobile Home Park tenant said on Wednesday after receiving a new bill for $1,700.
Three Seasons Mobile Home Park is owned by Moore Enterprises out of Irving, Texas, and locally, they also own The Americana and Orange Park North Mobile Home Parks.
News4JAX has heard other Three Seasons tenants, both past and present, who said they too were forced to pay sky-high water bills, which piqued the interest of city officials.
However, a spokesperson for the Office of Consumer Affairs said their office hasn’t received any official complaints, and they are urging affected tenants to call 904-255-7198.
Jax Legal Aid Division Chief Adam Thoresen is also familiar with allegations at Three Seasons Mobile Home Park.
“Similar to what’s going on now, what we saw happen, in our opinion was that the usage was extremely out of line with historically what that particular tenant from that household had used. And as a lawyer, that’s just something that’s going to raise red flags,” Thoresen said.
Thoresen urged tenants confronting this situation to make sure they continue to pay the landlord any other obligations that they’re not disputing.
“I also think it’s important to communicate with your landlord in writing,” Thoresen said. “If you encounter this issue, something that doesn’t look right to you, you know, write him a letter, shoot him an email through your tenant portal, just something so you can document what’s going on and look back at that.”
Jax Legal Aid also told News4JAX that when a tenant disputes their water bill, especially when it’s thousands of dollars and out of the norm, it’s customary for the landlord to investigate the source of the water consumption before charging the tenants.
But that’s not what happened here, Three Seasons management threatened Kelly ONeil with eviction, and only now, after she received her second bill for more than $1,700, are agreeing to look into the issue.