The owners of a Jacksonville mobile home park where residents said they were hit with outrageous water bills as high as $1,700 have decided to sell the property.
In fact, Moore Enterprise sold all three of its Jacksonville properties just weeks after city officials gave them a deadline to explain why tenants’ water bills were so high.
Hundreds of Westside residents at three of Moore Enterprise’s mobile home parks found a packet at their front door on Thursday informing them that Three Seasons Mobile Home Village, Orange Park North Mobile Home Park and Americana Mobile Home Park had all been sold to Oak Wood Properties.
Last month, a former property manager for the company accused Moore Enterprises of charging tenants thousands for water, with no proof of leaks and keeping the cash.
TeriAnne Williams worked for Three Seasons Mobile Home Village for three years and said she was not surprised Moore Enterprises sold all three Westside mobile home parks so abruptly. Wiliams told the News4JAX I-TEAM last month, that she was ready to testify that the Irving, Texas company knowingly charged tenants outrageous water bills and kept the water payments for themselves.
“It’s been an ongoing issue. And I myself, when I was there, tried to get the owner to take responsibility for it,” Williams said. “I mean, they had water bills, $1,200, $1,700, here was one that was actually $2,200.”
Kelly Oneil and her father contacted the News4JAX I-TEAM after Oneil paid more than $2,200 for water in July and August under the threat of eviction. The next month she received another water bill for more than $1,700 which prompted an inspection by JEA and the City of Jacksonville which revealed the Oneils water lines didn’t have leaks.
Moore Enterprises was under investigation for similar allegations in Ohio in 2018 at one of its mobile parks.
The City of Jacksonville demanded an explanation in early October for the high bills, but the company did not provide them with answers.
Tenants have their suspicions about why the company decided to sell.
“It seems like they wanted to pass the problem on to someone else and say it’s your problem,” resident Jason Jamison said Friday.
“People lost their homes over the mismanagement of the water situation in this park, I’ve seen it with my own eyes, two people who lost their place to live because of that,” said resident Tony Real.
“And I just think it’s completely unfair that they’re continuing to don’t do this, when they’re well aware of why these water bills are like that,” Williams said.
Williams said when she worked there she learned the mobile home park water meter readers had been estimating tenants’ consumption and said the water meters themselves are old and malfunctioning. She said at least 10 families were charged more than a thousand dollars a month for water they never consumed.
Oneil said she still wants back the more than $2,200 she paid.
“There should be repercussions for it, they should be held to account, they should pay back the money to her,” Jamison said.
News4JAX checked with the State Attorney’s Office and both Moore Enterprises and the new owners Oak Wood Properties but did not get immediate responses.