Inkster family living without water, landlord owes thousands to city

They live in squalor.

FOX 2: "How do you guys use the bathroom?"

"You lift your toilet seat up put your bag down in there," said Bryan Gick. "It's kind of a shame to say this, but yeah we poop in bags."

 All because they have no running water though it's no fault of their own.

"I thought this landlord here really was looking out for us trying to help us come to find out the whole time he was just trying to get a quick buck," said Crystal Kneeshaw. "Charging us for something he wasn't even paying." 

They've been living in a rented house in Inkster since June and last week the pipes froze.

FOX 2: "You had to put a space heater under the house to warm up the pipes?"

"And it's still not working. it's still frozen yet," Gick said.

The dry spell isn't just an inconvenience, it's life threatening.

Ayden, 10, has diabetes.

"I have to drink lots of water," Ayden said.

"If we don't have water to bring his ketones down, it can start attacking his kidneys and his organs and everything," Gick said.

Brian and Crystal called their landlord to do something about the frozen pipes but he didn't.

So they called the water department and received a bombshell.

"She said the water has illegally been on here since August of 2013," Kneeshaw said. 

"It's illegally hooked up," said Inkster City Manager Richard Marsh. "And it's been done prior to them getting here.

"I can't say who did it but he's the residence's owner and he's been that since 2008."

Marsh says the owner Salahuddin Ahmad racked up a $19,000 water bill.

"He's been taking free water and then charging his tenants," Kneeshaw said.

Tenants living in filth.

"I feel like a failure and I know it's not my fault," Kneeshaw said.

But guess where the landlord  lives? A 4,000-square foot house in West Bloomfield.

FOX 2 stopped by, but no one answered the door.

FOX 2 did speak with him over the phone.

He claimed he knew nothing about the $20,000 he owes the city of Inkster and called  the family squatters because they fell behind on their rent.

But the family already had worked out a back-rent deal in court.

FOX 2 also spoke to the landlord's wife who said that they own so many properties they have lost track of some of them. 

According to the Wayne County Register of Deeds, this landlord has lost numerous properties due to tax foreclosure.

Even so, Gick and their kids are optimistic even praying for their landlord."I have faith that God is blessing us and I know we're going to get taken care of," Kneeshaw said. "I know it and I pray he gets taken care of too, I do. 

"He needs blessings as much as we do cause for him to do something like this to another family, he needs to be blessed."

After FOX 2 called the city of Inkster, the police chief contacted the Days Inn which worked out a deal to let the family stay there for three days free of charge. 

A GoFundMe account has been set up: http://www.gofundme.com/k7erpo

Marsh requested a sit-down with the landlord Thursday. If the situation can't be settled, the city is prepared to take legal action. 

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