Fresno County landlord accused of turning off tenant's utilities, uninhabitable conditions

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- "He shut off our water and our gas we cannot cook," Rene Erebia has been facing the dog days of summer with no air conditioning after he says his landlord canceled their service with PG&E 26 days ago.

"The landlord shut off our payment for supposedly non-payment," Erebia said.

But Erebia says the $700 he pays in rent includes utilities.

"He's making our life hard to live," he said.

According to the Fresno County Department of Public Health, the property is also uninhabitable.

An investigation reveals there are 17 code violations. The violations range from electrical service panels with no power, to a propane tank used to heat water from a well used for five units and a bathroom waste-water dripping from a pipe, flowing feet away from a vineyard next door.

"Feces and other things right there," Erebia said. "I feel sorry whoever is buying this food, these grapes because I know it's not healthy."

Action News tracked down the owner to get his side of the story.
He says his tenants do not have power because they never transferred services into their name.

"PG&E disconnected the wire not me, I didn't touch. That belongs to PG&E they cut it because they did not pay the bill," he said.

As for the more than a dozen violations sent to him days ago from the county, he said, "I have no violation with the county."

Cory James: So this is the letter sent to you your name is listed your address have these 17 violations been fixed?

"I just got it today this letter by mail I gave this letter to my attorney," the landlord said.

In the meantime, his tenants are renting a generator, because they say they have little money and nowhere else to go.

Action News reached out to PG&E for comment but was told details on the account could not be released. We have not heard back from the landlord's attorney or Fresno County officials.

The owner of the property was given a month to fix all 17 violations and obtain permits.
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