LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — UPDATE: On Friday morning,13 Action News reported that a Las Vegas woman was approaching day 20 of having no air conditioner in her apartment. After our initial report aired, the management team at the Playa Vista apartments contacted our team to say the repairs has been made before noon.
Temperatures inside Shonae Bailey's apartment were topping 85 degrees with no way for her to escape the heat.
“Every time I look over I'm like it’s rising, it’s rising, it’s rising. I’m hot, I’m very very hot, and the fans are doing nothing," Bailey said.
Bailey said she contacted the leasing office every day. Management told her they were working to fix the issue, but couldn't guarantee a time frame due to other maintenance requests and shipping delays for parts needed to repair the AC.
“They told me they have 25 other people. I wonder how long their work orders have been here,” Bailey said.
Taylor Altman with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada says if a tenant sends a letter to the landlord putting them on notice that they have an essential services problem, like a broken AC, the landlord has to fix it or use their best efforts to fix it, within 48 hours.
If the problem isn’t repaired, the tenant can take legal action.
“An apartment needs to have running water, functioning door lock, electricity, heat, air conditioning. All of those things are considered essential,” Altman said.
Some legal actions tenants can take include withholding rent until the problem is fixed, or hiring a licensed repair person to fix the problem and deducting the cost from the rent.
They’re also entitled to move somewhere else, like a hotel to keep cool, until the landlord repairs the problem, and not have to pay rent during that time.
They can even recover money from the landlord, including the cost of other housing which is above and beyond the amount of the rent they would’ve paid.
“I need help and if this can’t get fixed, I just need help getting out of here honestly,” Bailey said.
KTNV contacted the management team at the Playa Vista apartments. They responded saying:
“We are actively working to fix/replace any HVAC units that need repairs. Playa Vista is a 409 apartment community and we have received many HVAC calls in the week. We have hired a vendor to help us repair/replace the HVAC units that are malfunctioning. In addition, we have hired temporary help thru BJ Staffing to work on HVAC units. I can assure you that nobody is getting ignored. There is also back-order on HVAC parts. We have provided residents with portable HVAC units to help."
The Legal Aid Center offers help to tenants that may be dealing with similar problems.