Man fighting Georgia homeowner's association over $10,000 water bill

GWINNETT COUNTY, GA (KTRK) -- A suburban Atlanta homeowner is slogging it out with his homeowners association over a $10,000 water bill, ABC affiliate WSB-TV reports.

Derwin Smith, a Navy veteran who is currently a contractor with the U.S. Army, has been in a month long struggle with his HOA.

"When I originally bought the house, the old HOA said the water is free. It's on the master meter and it's being paid through the HOA," Smith said.

But while Smith was overseas, new board members were elected, and they changed the billing be on the homeowners. The HOA then went into Smith's home, without his knowledge, and installed a new metering system.

When he came home, he found a $10,000 water bill sitting in his mailbox.

"It was crazy. It was like a punch in the gut," Smith told WSB-TV.

Smith doesn't own a pool or a sprinkler system, and he spends the majority of his time overseas. He says there was a toilet that ran in the house from time to time, but has no idea how he managed to rack up a five-figure utility bill.

"Ain't no way possible. I still take three minute showers. I was in the Navy," Smith said.

Smith plans to fight the charges, but the HOA president tells WSB-TV it will do everything in its power to make sure Smith pays up.

"I think it's a realistic expectation that it's his home and he should be responsible for paying for his usage," HOA President Michael Crew said.
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