Family battles summer heat with broken AC, seeks resolution from apartment management

A Hoover family said they have been without air conditioning in their apartment since March. They reached out to ABC 33/40 in hopes of getting help with the situation.

The family of four lives at Thirty-One 32 Cypress Apartments and have been tenants for about two years.

Kendall Beamon explains they have never had any problems prior to this and they don’t want to move somewhere else, especially because of their two children.

“They have roots here, they go to the elementary school, they love it, we love the area, so we don’t wanna do that, but something’s gotta give,” said Beamon.

The first maintenance request was sent on March 7th. According to correspondence Beamon’s wife provided, the property manager emailed back on March 15 stating that maintenance would come out and take a look. The couple said maintenance came out later that day and provided a small window unit.

“We put that in our kids room, but still, everything else is hot, it really didn’t do anything so we was hoping they’d fix the whole air but we didn’t hear anything back,” said Beamon. “Nobody came out to look at it since that first request.”

According to the couple, when maintenance came out in March, they said there was an issue with the AC on the roof and they would have to contact the office for them to come back out. The maintenance request was closed on May 9. A few weeks later, they filed another maintenance request because the AC had not been fixed. The request that was submitted on May 26 was closed on June 13. Another maintenance request was submitted on June 13.

Their requests are showing ‘work completed.’

“We’ve been calling them since those two months, putting in requests every two weeks, a week, staying on top of them, nothing happened,” said Beamon.

In the meantime, they have been running fans and have been cooking at different times to try and keep their unit cool. They have also been spending most of their time in their children’s room.

“We do a lot in there now, we eat in there, do everything in there, because that’s the only source of air,” explained Beamon.

The thermostat was showing the apartment was 81 degrees inside, on Wednesday. The woman works from home and the children are out of school for the summer, so it’s been challenging for the family.

“It’s just been hot, the kids when they play outside, come back in, it’s just as hot as it was outside, inside, we tried to get someone on it, because the heat is nothing to play with,” said Beamon. “Hopefully they can get it right, with us waiting these two months, it doesn’t look good, but hopefully since you’re here now, something can get done about this, because like I said, we like the area but can’t do this heat.”

ABC 33/40 stopped into the leasing office Wednesday and left our contact information for the property manager. We also spoke with a man outside who says he does maintenance for the apartments. He admitted they did have issues with former maintenance closing out requests that haven’t been completed. He stated he was unaware of this family’s problem and would go check it out immediately.

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Under state law, tenants are still required to pay rent, but do have rights when it comes to maintenance repairs.

According to the Alabama Association of Realtors, state law ‘requires landlords to keep in good and safe working order all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other appliances that are supplied or required to be supplied by a landlord.’

We also spoke with attorney Ed Merrell about a tenant’s rights in this type of situation. Merrell said the landlord must comply with the landlord tenant act, related to the implied warrant of habitability. He explained the tenant must request the unit is broken, preferably in writing. He stated the landlord must make reasonable efforts to fix or otherwise accommodate the tenant. When asked about a window unit being provided, he said that could work if it actually cools the apartment. Merrell said reasonableness is based on factors such as work schedule, number of bedrooms, number of occupants, age (children and elderly have higher risk so faster time is necessary).

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