Rising temps lead to rising number of complaints about A/C repairs not being made in apartments

Posted at 9:26 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-22 07:31:23-04

TULSA-- With the rising temperatures, the number of renters contacting us about issues with their air conditioning is rising as well.

2 Works from You is starting to hear from dozens of viewers every month about issues relating to rental properties and asking what to do when your landlord isn’t fixing the problem.

The Oklahoma Landlord/Tennant Act is about 15 pages and covers just about anything related to renting property- but it’s something many renters don’t know about.

Donna Madden’s thermostat is set to 60 in her Tulsa apartment. But the thermometer reads 82 degrees.  

“I called her this morning and she said well they fixed it—I said it’s not fixed, uh-uh, we got it on paper,” Madden said.

Next door Aaron Mitchell says his unit hasn’t worked properly since he moved in last year. He says his landlord recently provided a window unit for the bedroom, but it doesn’t cool the rest of the apartment.

“Something can be done about it, and me being here since September I thought something would be done quicker than it has been going,” Mitchell said.

2 Works for You isn’t naming the building where Madden and her neighbor Mitchell live-- in an effort to be fair and give the building’s owners ample time to respond to interview requests.

But this story isn’t just about Madden and Mitchell—it’s about your rights as a renter and where to turn when repairs aren’t being made.

That’s why we reached out to attorney Blaine Frierson. He’s been practicing landlord tenant issues for 23 years, mostly representing landlords suing renters for non-payment of rent.

“Sometimes those include maintenance requests a lot of the time that the landlord says they’ve repaired and tenant says you now the repairs haven’t been made,” Frierson said.

Frierson says tenants have the right to give their landlord what’s called a 14-30 if repairs aren’t made in a reasonable time. It tells the landlord they have 14 days to fix the issue., or the renter is moving out in 30 days. Frierson says before it gets to that point it’s important to keep all copies of work orders asking for repairs.

 “If it’s their air conditioning or heat or water or light or electricity the landlord should be out making repairs pretty much immediately once they receive the request,” he said.  

It’s a rule some renters say is being ignored.

Renters do have the right to make repairs themselves that they’ve already requested—and aren’t being fixed. Under Oklahoma law, the renters can then deduct up to $100 from the next month’s rent for those repairs.

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