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Tenants at a Webb City apartment must find a new home - KOAM TV 7

Tenants at a Webb City apartment must find a new home

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Residents are kicked out of an apartment complex in downtown Webb City because the owner of the building allegedly failed to pay water bills.

The tenants of the building say water was to be included in their rent but say they haven't been able to pay rent since last year.  Without a contact from management the residents in the building say they weren't sure who to pay their rent too.

Utilities were initially turned off around Christmas but were turned on shortly after thanks to the city.  However, the city says they have had enough and required all residents to be out by 10 a.m. on Monday.

David Poindexter was a resident of the apartments on the cross section of 1st and Main Street in Webb City for the past six months.  But after the owner of the building allegedly walked away, leaving an unpaid $2,000 water bill for the complex, the city was forced to shut off utilities and kick residents out.

"I'm on the street - I had to find a place to store my stuff and I'm staying with a friend right now," says Poindexter.  "Cutting the water off and telling them they need to be out in four days and leaving a phone number for the housing authority is just putting it off on somebody else."

Despite frustration from residents, Webb City interim City Administrator Carl Francis says the residents should have known this was coming when the owner stopped collecting rent last year.  Francis says that should have been more than enough time to find another place to stay.

"The citizens of Webb City have paid the bill since December and enough is enough, it's time to do something," says Francis.  "This is our only option, we really don't have a choice.  Once we shut that water off that sprinkler/water suppression system is shut off and that makes that building too dangerous to occupy."

"W have known that something had been wrong but we were waiting for new people to come in and tell us what to do, to pay our rent or whatever, that's what we were hoping for but that never happened," says former resident Tina Patterson.

Francis says the city originally kept paying water on the building due to not only the water suppression system, but because of cold temperatures back in December.  Despite an absent owner Poindexter says he will still hold out hope to get something out of the situation.

"I'm going to try and get my deposit back because I got to put that down and try to get me a place," says Poindexter.

And until an owner does show up and get the building up to speed the city says it will remain boarded up and shut off.

Francis says these particular apartments are not the only ones where utilities have been shut off due to an absent owner.  He says the Elder Building, also in downtown Webb City, has a similar back story.

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