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A man renting a trailer in Waddy is being evicted from his home after complaining to the Sheriff’s Department and The Sentinel-News about not having running water for nearly a month.
Fred Harrington, who lives at 2071 Waddy Road, received a note from his landlord, Allen Murphy, this morning, dated Feb. 5, stating “You have three days to move out of my house.”
Harrington received the notice apparently shortly after Murphy had been contacted by a reporter seeking comment on Harrington’s situation.
When contacted by telephone, Murphy would not answer questions. “No comment, thank you,” he said before disconnecting the call.
Last month during a cold snap Harrington said the pipes under the old trailer where he lives behind Murphy’s house froze and burst.
“I left a trickle of hot water running in the bathtub, but they froze anyway,” he said. “And he just won’t fix it.”
He also said that the temperature inside the trailer had dipped into the upper 40s.
Harrington said he was forced to remain in the home for February and paid his $400 rent for the month because he had the flu last month and could not find a new home.
“I was so sick I went to the emergency room twice, and, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I had diarrhea and it got all over me,” Harrington said.
“It was terrible. I couldn’t even get into the shower or use a wet rag to clean myself off. I was crying in my bathroom because I had stool up and down my legs, and I had to wipe it off with toilet paper.”
Harrington said he has gone to talk to Murphy on several occasions, but he never has been able to get an answer about why he will not fix the water pipes.
“When I talked to him for the third time around the 26th [of January], I asked if he was about to get it going again, and all he said was, ‘I don’t know,’ and he closed the door in my face.”
According to KRS 383.595, a landlord must “supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat between Oct. 1 and May 1.”
However, since Harrington has no formal lease, it’s unclear whether or not the state statute would cover his issue.
The Kentucky Housing Corporation was not able to determine if Harrington would be covered and referred the question to the Legal Aid Society in Louisville, which handles its legal questions. A message left for there drew no response.
Shelby County District 6 Magistrate Tony Carriss, whose district includes Waddy, said he was unaware of the situation and wasn’t sure if there was a county ordinance that would cover it.
“I’ll have to look into that. It’s not something I’ve come across before,” he said.
Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger did not return a message seeking comment.
This isn’t the first time hat Harrington has had issues with a landlord and not having water available.
Harrington was one of several tenants at 908 Main Street in Shelbyville last February when the water and power were turned off because that property, owned by Greg Wood and Wood Properties, had entered into foreclosure.
That property now has boards over the doors and windows.
Harrington said he enjoyed moving from Main Street Shelbyville out into the country, but he won’t be able to stay much longer.
“I just don’t understand why he would do something like this,” he said. “I’ve never had any problem with him. I paid my four hundred dollars. Just let me have water. I mean, just have a heart – I’m sick.”