Man could lose house after not paying $1,700 water bill he says is a mistake

Posted at 7:31 PM, Oct 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-10 14:53:23-04

A $1,700 bill for one month of water use is what one Rochester Hills resident is facing after the city, he says, inexplicably slapped him with the charges.

The bill arrived two years ago in his name, but Dede Gashaj says it’s all a mistake.

If he doesn’t pay up, he says he’s being told he could lose his entire home. 

Gashaj says the only explanation he can get out of the city after receiving the high priced water tab is “you own the house, you have to pay the bill.”

The bill, which was originally $1,700 in 2015, is now north of $2,000 because of accrued late fees.

Gashaj, who’s lived in the home for 17 years, says his monthly bill has always been low - at around $17 a month.

A crew, he says, came out to inspect, but found no problems with leakage, leaving the question of how the bill got so high.

That city crew took out the meter as a precaution, but the high bill remained.

And as I took a closer look, I realized Gashaj’s predicament was in fact much more serious.

Because Gashaj has refused to pay, it’s gone into collections and is now linked to his taxes. Which means his home could get foreclosed on.

So our Taking Action news team went looking for more answers.

In a statement to us, the city said they felt confident that the “amount of water was accurately measured through a properly functioning meter,” despite the fact that it stands out as an anomaly.