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“I have no hot water:” Residents outraged utilities shut off in apartment building, claim landlord didn’t pay bill

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Dozens of residents in one Milwaukee apartment building are getting kicked out, even though they're paying their rent. The residents claim the landlord hasn't paid the utility bill and now the place is being shuttered.

The residents are angry, and for a time thought they were about to get kicked out of their homes after the utilities were cut off.

Residents tell FOX6 News they've paid their rent but the owner has not paid the bill to We Energies. FOX6 News reached out to that owner, SKY HS, LLC for comment, but haven't heard back. But we are hearing an earful from the residents.

"We have no heat, no gas, I have no hot water," said Elizabeth Sanders, resident.

"I was unable to cook my daughter's breakfast," said Quiana Jones, resident.

Quiana Jones was heated, her attitude that is, not her apartment. She says for about 24 hours, We Energies disconnected the 25 unit building. She and other residents are seething at the owners.

"This is what you have included in the lease. If I break my lease in any form, shape or fashion, I'm evicted. I pay my rent and I pay it on time so can you explain to me why aren't you taking care of yours," said Jones.

Without heat or gas, they feared being displaced by the Department of Neigborhood Services, which came to the building on Friday, May 15th. DNS was met by Jerry Macklin, who is part of the maintenance team and works with the owner.

FOX6 News Reporter Derica Williams asked, "how long has this problem been going on?"

"I have no clue," said Macklin.

Jones says she has a clue. On April 30th, she got a letter from We Energies threatening disconnection because of overdue charges.

"I never seen no letter like that," said Macklin.

And, Macklin claims the onsite building manager, also named Jerry, wasn't doing his job and left it abandoned.

"He was pocketing the rent I heard about that this morning, no wonder he is not around here. There are a lot of people who gave Jerry rent money and I got a note on my door and I have receipts. I got a 5-day notice on my door saying if I don't pay $775 I have to leave here," said Macklin.

Macklin spent a good part of Friday morning trying to get a payment to We Energies so renters could stay in their homes. By midday, crews started to reconnect service.

"We are just happy they are here we can finally cook and take a shower, everything is cool now. This is all we wanted," said Sanders.

Although heat and gas were the main issues, the Department of Neighborhood Services says the owner could possibly face fines for other maintenance violations.

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