Apartment complex fined for air conditioning issues

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - After days without A/C, renters at one Memphis apartment complex said the air is finally on again.

It happened the same day an attorney for their apartment management company appeared in court.

Residents at the Champaign Place apartments in Parkway Village said they were without air conditioning for nearly two weeks before they got any relief.

Friday, an environmental court judge fined the apartment management company.

Apartment residents have been sweating it out, waiting for the broken central air conditioning unit to be fixed.

"My apartment was like 116 degrees on the inside," said one resident on Wednesday.

That day, he said it was the 13th day without working A/C.

Doors on each of the floors were propped open.

"Everybody is in heat," the resident said. "People are passing out. It's a dangerous environment we're living in."

A resident sent pictures and a video claiming ambulances were dispatched to the apartment complex for heat-related calls.

But in court on Friday, the attorney representing the property management company, W.I. Memphis, said the air conditioner was replaced on Monday.

Two days later on Wednesday, tenants said it still wasn't working.

"My clients were notified, received a notice on May 16," said attorney Josh Kahane. "On May 16 they immediately contacted Trane to come out and do a full replacement of the unit."

Kahane told the court the delayed fix boiled down to a back-ordered part and that management company W.I. Memphis gave tenants the option to stay somewhere else for the week while waiting for that part.

Judge Patrick Dandridge didn't buy it.

"I don't think it was communicated with them that they had an option to go somewhere else because I can't imagine anyone wanting to stay," Judge Dandridge said.

Judge Dandridge fined the complex $500, which included court fees.

He emphasized it is the apartment owner's responsibility to make sure air conditioning units and furnaces are functioning before the season changes.

If you're a renter, call 311 to report issues with your A/C unit.

An inspector will be sent to your apartment to determine whether or not there is an actual a code violation, for which an apartment owner will be responsible for taking of.

Click here to learn more about your rights as a renter if the A/C goes out.

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