Renter Deals With Water Nightmare

By: Brittany Gunter
By: Brittany Gunter

It’s been a water nightmare for an Omaha woman after a pipe burst at the house she’s renting. Not only is she cleaning up the mess, but her landlord says she needs to pay for it.

“The water was just pouring out from the ceiling from the pipe bursting,” said Shalee Lathan. Lathan arrived at her home on 144th and Blondo Saturday afternoon to find water everywhere in her rented house. “I have shoes that have water damage, a purse that has water damage.”

Lathan says a furnace in the house broke and a pipe burst. A situation this mother of four has been dealing with on her own because her husband is deployed overseas. “My husband is gone in Afghanistan. It’s hard juggling everything and let alone to have something like this happen.”

Lathan called her landlord, but she says he hasn’t been much help. At this point the issues haven’t been fixed. Not only does Lathan have to clean up the big mess inside the house, but she’s also trying to move out and her landlord drops off a letter saying she’s responsible for the cost of the water damage.

Lathan argues it’s the landlord that should be paying her back. She had put in her 30 day notice on January 31st because her husband will be transferred to a base in Texas. She was planning to stay in the home through February, but now she’s forced to leave early with no working heat or water. “I’m glad I have family here, because otherwise my children and I would be freezing or out of money we don’t have,” said Lathan.

The landlord said Lathan is at fault for the water damage. He said Lathan turned the furnace off, but Lathan said she didn’t touch the furnace. The landlord also said Lathan is breaking her lease, so she owes him rent through July. Channel Six read the lease and it says Lathan does have an out if she’s moving 50 miles away for work and has proper documentation

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