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Tulsa family says landlord won't fix heating and portable heater started fire in home

Posted at 9:42 PM, Nov 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-15 23:07:45-05

TULSA, Okla. -- A plug-in heater was the only source of warmth for Lisa Dunn-Partee and her family over the last year since the home's main system went out.

The renter said this "plan B" from her landlord blew a socket Tuesday morning. Dunn-Partee tells us she's spoken to her landlord multiple times over the last three days, through freezing temperatures with nowhere else to go.

"The cost of living and trying to move everything and trying to find another place is really high. So we're in the process of trying to find somewhere else to move, but we just don't have the finances to move," Dunn-Partee said.

Her daughter is there as well, taking care of two babies and her mother. Dunn-Partee is relying on the help after getting out of the hospital for lung disease in September.

"She doesn't have nobody here to help her. I've been here trying to help her as much as I can so I do a lot of my time here instead of my own home," her daughter Alisa McKinney said.

The one- and two-year-old grandchildren fall asleep in the front room. The family says that requires wearing jackets and having extra blankets, and they often still fall asleep shivering.

"The landlord has a duty to provide a habitable space. That's what the tenant is buying by the whole deal. You expect to get a place you can live in, that's the reason that you're paying the rent," Tulsa attorney Adam Weintraub said.

Oklahoma's Residential Landlord and Tenant Act says if the landlord neglects to provide heat the tenant could recover damages. Right now the family only wants a home that's livable.

"They had diagnosed her maybe about a month ago with whooping cough and they said it was due to her having cold air and not heat, and that's not good for her," McKinney said.

The landlord tells 2 Works for You his maintenance crew is just running behind, saying they have inspected and the heat will be restored by Friday.


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