Neighbors stuck with previous homeowners’ bill

Reporter: Haley Zarcone Writer: Elyssa Morataya
Published: Updated:

A Cape Coral woman says the city is trying to make her pay for someone else’s mistake after she received a utility bill meant for the home’s previous owner.

Bills like this are raising eyebrows in Cape Coral.

“I was shocked, I was surprised, and I wasn’t happy about it,” said Gross.

Jodi Gross received a letter in the mail stating she had an “Outstanding utility balance” that was “not paid after the sale of the property.”

“I asked to see the actual bill. So I can see what the usage was, what the cost was. They only sent a letter like this… with just an amount that you owe right on here, ” said Gross.

Gross has lived at her home for six years but for some reason she owes $81.75 for the previous homeowner’s utility usage.

She took to Facebook to see if anyone else had the same letter, and sure enough, the comments flooded with other people who also received letters.

Daniel Rice is one of them.

“They said to reach out to the title company, but I don’t think the title company messed up,” said Rice. “I think Cape Coral messed up because if my title company would have had this, it would have been paid when I moved in 2018.”

Rice’s title insurance paperwork shows the final bills were paid before they closed on their home 6 years ago.

The question is: why are they seeing this bill now?

WINK News reporter Haley Zarcone reached out to the city of Cape Coral for comment on Tuesday.

The city responded, in part, “We do not have a response to provide on this matter yet. We are aware of the letters.”

These homeowners say they want answers before they cough up the cash for somebody else’s bill.

“I feel like there’s something going on. There’s some kind of scheme or something. There’s no way I’m paying somebody else’s water bill.”

Can you blame him?

This note homeowners are receiving says that if the bill goes unpaid, the city can put a lien on your home.

If you’ve received a bill like this, the letter says to contact the City of Cape Coral’s customer service team for questions.

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