Resident at Wynwood Apartments steamed after 4 days without AC, and slow response

Posted at 6:27 PM, Jul 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-11 18:27:40-04

RICHMOND, Va. -  A Richmond mother told CBS 6 Problem Solvers that her apartment's air conditioning unit has not been working, and her landlord isn't moving fast enough to fix it.

“I feel like I’m in a desert with no air,” said Kyiesha Battle, a resident at Wynwood Apartments.

This upset mom has been left steaming over the struggle to get her apartment complex to fix the AC. She said this is the second time she's gone at least four days without AC.

It’s so hot that her little girl can't even stay there and has been taken to her grandmother’s house until the problem is fixed.

“I've been having problems since May,” Battle said. “Now we are in July.”

“It's the second attempt...but this environment is unsafe for my child,’ she added.

Battle, at her wits end, said she considered filing a tenant’s assertion in general district court, and paying her rent into an escrow account.

Escrow is something Christie Marra, an attorney with the Virginia Poverty Law Center, says tenants have a right to do, as long as they're up to date on rent.

She added that a tenant’s concerns have to be put into writing and their landlord must be given reasonable time to fix the problems that pose health and safety issues.

“Not having heat would qualify, not having water, not having AC in the summertime would qualify --if it's contracted for in the lease,” Marra said.

Action can be taken if a judge finds that a landlord refused to take care of his/her responsibilities.

“The judge can order the money held in escrow be used to make the repairs…can order an abatement of rent for a period of time,”Marra said.

CBS 6 reached out to Battle's apartment complex and they said a repairman was sent over to fix the AC.

They added that they sent Battle an electric fan to help out.

The mom said she will continue to keep her 1-year-old out of the home until the apartment can be properly cooled.

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