A London man is tired of paying his neighbours’ water bills, but has gotten little help from the city after several meetings.

Farook Chisthi, 70, says when he came to Canada 17 years ago and bought his townhouse, it was never disclosed the six-unit complex has a water main in his unit only.

“I am retired. I have no money. I have little pension income. How I can support …to pay this bill?  This bill is sometimes $800.”

He has been collecting a share of the water bill from the other residents, but now he says, some don’t pay him for months at a time.

“If I shut off the water, they call police. Police come here and threaten to put me in jail.  I say, ‘Why?  I'm innocent; I am a victim.’”

Neighbour Chance Pinkney says she's caught in the crossfire between Chisthi and her landlord.

She also says it's unfair other units often house several students who don’t pay their share.

“He says, ‘You haven't paid for a few months’. I give him what I can. I'm a mother of three children so I can’t give him the whole amount of the bill or the $200, but I give him $100 or what I think is fair on my end.”

Chisthi’s son Kamran says they've had multiple meetings with city hall to have the problem resolved, but to no avail.

“Imagine if it was your father. If it was your elderly father having to do this, how would you feel?  I’ve talked to enough people at city hall. None of them believe that this has really happened.”

The city says there isn’t much that can be done because what's in place is a long-standing private agreement.

In a written statement, John Lucas, the city’s water director, says all three owners of the complex signed a city application form expressing interest in separate water services, but did not submit plans on how they proposed to do it. Nor did they obtain a plumbing permit to do so. Both are requirements of the application. The issue remains open for them to follow up on, he says.

That leaves Chishti feeling stuck. “I have no way out,” he says.