Oklahoma Apartment Tenants With No A/C Reach Boiling Point

Monday, June 27th 2011, 9:15 pm
By: News 9

Amanda Taylor, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - Andy Dalrymple and his family say they're living in an oven. Their place at the Southern Oaks Apartments has no a/c, despite living in an all bills paid complex.

"In the morning, it's 80. That feels cool to us," Dalrymple said. "It feels good at 80."

That's only because they bought their own window unit. But on 100 degree Oklahoma afternoons, that's not enough.

"It feels cool, but you get out a couple feet away and you can't hardly feel it," Dalrymple said. "That's why we have our mattress right underneath it."

The hot home is also uncomfortable for their children, Jasmine and Levi.

"Before we go to bed, we usually wet their shirts just to keep them a little bit cooler," Dalrymple said.

The office manager told Andy they're waiting on parts to repair the unit that services the entire building, but that was weeks ago. I got the same story when I visited the office.

So what can you do about it? We asked an attorney for the Metropolitan Fair Housing Council, who laid out your legal rights.

"One option is to terminate the lease," attorney Nkem House said. "Give them 30 days notice that you're going to terminate the lease if they don't fix it within 14 days."

Your second choice, fix it yourself and get reimbursed.

"In this case, it's an air conditioning unit," House said. "Buy a window unit and subtract it from your rent."

House said you and your landlord must agree on a dollar amount before getting a refund.

Finally, you can sue the property owner in small claims court.

But House said the number one thing to know:

"None of these rights are initiated or kick in so to speak until you provide written notice to the landlord."

And make sure you make copies of anything you send to your landlord.

You can read all your rights under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

More rights under the Landlord and Tenant Act.