Living in Nashville can feel like living in a giant construction zone.

News4 learned some Nashvillians are unknowingly footing the bill for residential development.

“I kind of felt helpless actually, because I didn't want them to get away with it,” said Jessica Johnson.

An East Nashvillian’s inquiry struck a chord with Johnson. A man on Facebook claimed workers next door were asking whether they could use his water.

When houses were going up on either side of Johnson’s years ago, they didn't ask first.

“Hey, has your electric bill been pretty high this month?” Her neighbor asked her. “I'm a single parent so I watch spending like a hawk,” Johnson said. 

Her her electric bill went up $300 from one month to the next. Her neighbor's went up $600. So, she installed cameras

“I noticed the extension cord that should've been going to the power source they set up was going to the outlet on my porch next to the front door,” she recalled.

On the Facebook thread in which Johnson offered advice, dozens of people said it's happened to them, too - construction workers using utilities, without permission. Johnson said after she went to police, the construction company agreed to reimburse her. She had this advice if it happens to you: “Documentation, documentation, documentation.”

Homeowners should also phone Metro Codes and the police if they find themselves in a similar situation.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Rebecca Cardenas is a Murrow-award winning journalist who joined News4 as a reporter in September 2017. She currently covers the court systems in Middle Tennessee.

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