Detroit landlord accused of utility theft

Posted at 7:01 PM, May 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-12 19:01:24-04

Lousy landlord or terrible tenants?

A Detroit landlord is facing multiple charges following a Detroit police investigation into utility theft.

According to police, Donnie Hall purchases residential properties in Detroit at the Wayne County auction at bargain basement prices. In some cases, the properties were previously owned by Hall, but he lost them due to non-payment of taxes. 

Police say Hall buys the houses back and rents them to tenants - utilities included. 

Yet, according police, the utilities are not on legally. Water and electricity at three of his properties had illegal hook ups.

Hall told 7 Action News, he didn’t turn them on illegally, it was the tenants.

Ted Phillips with the United Community Housing Coalition says it’s a common problem and tenants are caught in the middle. 

He recommends tenants get the conditions of a rental agreement in writing and check with utility companies prior to moving in to make sure there are no past due utility bills.

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To report utility theft to Detroit Police call the tip line at 313-235-4359 or email