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CASA Sues Landlord For Water Bill Overcharges

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Credit: 247homerescue/Wikimedia Commons

CASA, a Latinx and immigrant advocacy group, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the management company of Middlebrook Mobile Home Park, accusing it of overcharging tenants for water.

The park is managed by Middlebrook MHC, LLC and located in Germantown. CASA attorney Jonathan Riedel said that families at the park pay as much as $800 per month for water.

He said CASA has tried, but failed, to reach the park’s management for nearly three years.

“We're hoping to get their attention with this lawsuit,” he said. “What they're doing is illegal.”

Riedel said new water submeters installed in 2018 led to miscalculations of water usage. One family of four was charged for 51,000 gallons of water for a single month. That’s nearly three full swimming pools.

Riedel said the park’s tenants, many of whom are working class, take extreme measures to conserve water.

“Some of them are afraid to even wash their own dishes,” he said. “They use disposables, because they don't want to incur water charges.”

Residents who’ve complained about the charges say they have been threatened with eviction.

“We are trying to preserve their rights as best as possible, to keep them in their homes and to keep them paying what they should be paying,” Riedel said.

WYPR reached a spokesperson for Middlebrook MHC, LLC this afternoon, who declined to comment.

Sarah Y. Kim is WYPR’s health and housing reporter. Kim is WYPR's Report for America corps member, and Anthony Brandon Fellow. Kim joined WYPR as a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. Now in her second year as an RFA corps member, Kim is based in Baltimore City.