GREENSBORO, N.C. — When you move into a new home, the people who used to live there may have left some things behind.
Maybe some old furniture or leftover paint.
Well, a Greensboro man inherited a water bill that snowballed into a major problem.
After weeks of back and forth with the city, Scott Royle called 2 Wants to Know's, Kevin Kennedy.
“I received a notice in the mail from the water dept addressed to me, stating [the city was placing a] lien on the property," Royle said.
The letter from the city is clear. Once the bill is 11 days past due, pay up or else.
Royle was concerned but also confused because the bill in question is from the previous owners.
"I call the water dept to let them know those people no longer live here," Royle explained.
Royle was told it didn't matter. The water bill is now his responsibility to pay. North Carolina law dictates it has become an auto lien on the property.
"The answer from the water department was, there is a city ordinance that allows us to do this," Royle continued.
So the lien stays unless the bill is paid. This is where it gets even more baffling...when Scott bought the house, his attorney paid the final water bill.
"The water department came back and said the final notice they sent the attorney was incorrectly calculated and there was an additional amount," Royle said.
An apparent mistake by the city ended with a lien on his home. An ordinance was being enforced.
"I was frustrated at this point. I don't understand how I am responsible for someone else bill," Royle said.
Royle was fed up, so he reached out to News 2 and the mayor's office. Well, apparently, that did the trick.
"Shortly after they [mayor's office] contacted the water department, the water department contacted me back," Royle explained.
Then, the issue was solved and the lien was lifted.
"I appreciate when I reached out to you, you got back to me and started looking into it," Royale said.
Remember, the lien was placed on his house because of an unpaid water bill.
"The exact amount was $14.04," Royle added.
Yep...a lien was placed on his home after a mistake for a bill that was $14.04.