Woman blames DCFS investigation on landlord

By Anthony Antoine | aantoine@wcia.com

Published 08/28 2014 06:24PM

Updated 08/28 2014 06:29PM

VILLA GROVE -- DCFS is investigating this mother for unsafe living conditions, but she blames her landlord. The family says it hasn't had running water or gas since they moved in and the landlord won't fix it.

Their mobile home is located on the corner of Elm and Third streets. WCIA-3's Anthony Antoine spoke with the family and found out, this isn't the first time this landlord's been in the news.

Last year, people living at the property were left without running water for weeks. Most of them moved out because of it, except for a few.

The gaping hole that was meant to fix the water line at this mobile home community is gone. Now, it's covered in weeks. One year later, residents still don't have running water.

"We asked the landlord to move here and he said that he would fix the water and everything else."

Harlie Walters moved in a month ago. She says she paid the landlord $150 as a deposit. He promised he would turn the water and gas on.

"We haven't had water ever since we moved in. We had to haul water from different places and it's very hard to live without water."

A tough job for a mom raising a 10-month old. Neighbors called child services to investigate Walters.

"It's very hard because having DCFS and having the fear that someone could take our daughter away because of our landlord."

But, the landlord has his own problems.

"He doesn't have a state permit. He doesn't have a city permit. He hadn't paid his water bill. That's probably one of the reasons they don't have water. He hadn't paid the taxes."

Then, the mayor showed us a letter. Last year, the Department of Health recommended the landlord be prosecuted after its investigation. But, no movement by the State's Attorney because he said no evidence was brought to his desk. So many questions about a property owned by William Fosser.

"The permit expired when I first purchased the property. I've spoken to the State of Illinois and I'm getting that taken care of."

What about the tenants?

"They're there without my consent. They don't have leases at all. They haven't established a lease holder agreement with me, the owner."

What about the $150 deposit?

"I accepted money from one person only toward a future deposit for a lease starting in November or December."

Fosser says he's involved in five lawsuits which have taken most of his time and resources. He hopes to get things fixed in 30 days.

The family plans to be out by then. The State's Attorney says he needs proof of the permit being expired, money being passed and evidence that there are at least five people living here and connected to the same water source.

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