MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Residents at Hibben Ferry, a Mt. Pleasant apartment complex, are looking for answers after seeing high charges on their water bills.
"We received an adjusted amount the previous month where we were all charged $50 to $100 and we were told it was because of a miscalculation," Sheri Christie said. "And so we were upset and we all paid it. This month we received a bill most of us ranging from $300 to $600."
People who live in Hibben Ferry are upset and looking for answers. They were told they could wait and pay the fee in November, but still they aren't sure what exactly they are paying for. Some people were told it was a mistake on the complex's behalf, others were told it was money that should have been added onto previous water bills.
"It's very problematic we need some answers," Barbara Chaite said.
Since residents noticed the price hike, some have come together to form a petition. Thursday evening three separate petitions were circling the apartment complex.
"It's just to say that we are not going to be accountable for charges we didn't occur and feel like we're being taken advantage and we're not going to let some big company take advantage of us," Micaela Briley said.
People who live at Hibben Ferry said they were first told about the adjusted fee during an apartment get together.
"They sent us a letter and invited us to brunch and after that they told us they made an erroneous error and after that invited us to a chili cook-off that would pay $200. If they have money for brunches and chili cook-offs they definitely have money to fix the mistake they made almost a year ago," Eulisa Thomas said.
"I'm supposed to be adjusted for the back pay for the amount of time I have lived here since May but still I don't think that's fair. And then what about the people that have moved out already are you going to track them down and make them pay a back water bill," Laura Salwen said.
Even new tenants are seeing high adjustments on their bill.
"Last month it came up to a $250 bill which I as really upset about paying but understand the circumstances that there might be back pay and I opened my bill this month and it was $425," Brittany Cortes said. She has lived at the complex three months.
Many said they had reached out to the company, the company's owner JRK Property Holdings in Los Angeles, and also the water company itself. They were told it's up to the company, the apartment complex is part of a master meter, meaning the complex is billed for one single water bill. The bill is then distributed by the apartment complex.
"The lease language says if they prorate something on an allocation formula, which is what they're doing to us with the water bill, they have to attach an amendment to the lease and they obviously haven't done that," Aaron Sanderson said.
"People here are really nice, it's just the situation with the water bill and the bills that have come lately," Myron Chinn said. She says $400 or $500 dollars is a lot of money for someone with a stiff budget.
Hibben Ferry management told Live 5 News they have no comment on the situation.
Live 5 News also called Hibben Ferry's owner, JRK Property Holdings. They said they'd give us a response by the end of Thursday, but didn't.