A Las Vegas family with two small children say they were forced to live in the heat for more than a week after the air conditioner broke at their rented condominium.
Karla and Trevor Seegmiller say the trouble started when their air conditioner began to work intermittently and the temperature gradually got hotter in their northwest valley condo.
"I can handle it, but the fact that our kids are waking up sweating bullets in the middle of the night, I can't handle that," said Karla Seegmiller.
The couple provided Contact 13 a screen shot from maintenance request which outlined the problem and put the condo owner's property management company on notice.
"You come inside to get away from the heat," said Trevor Seegmiller.
"You don't come inside to keep sweating and to keep being drenched," added Trevor.
The Seegmillers say several days went by and the air conditioner continued to blow hot air.
The couple's two children, ages 10 months and 3 years old, were also subjected to the temperatures which hovered between 80-90 degrees.
"He's irritated, he hasn't really slept," said Karla as her 10 month old son Zachary played nearby.
Contact 13 reached out to the property management company. A manager says the home warranty company responsible for repairs had been slowed due to high repair volume.
Tenant rights experts say Nevada law is very clear about landlord responsibility when it comes to making repairs in a timely manner.
According to state law, tenants must notify their landlord in writing of any issue. Once notified, the landlord has just 48 hours to repair an essential service, such as air conditioning.
If the landlord fails to make repairs, under state law, tenants have the following options:
(a) Procure reasonable amounts of such essential items or services during the landlord’s noncompliance and deduct their actual and reasonable cost from the rent;
(b) Recover actual damages, including damages based upon the lack of use of the premises or the diminution of the fair rental value of the dwelling unit;
(c) Withhold any rent that becomes due during the landlord’s noncompliance without incurring late fees, charges for notice or any other charge or fee authorized by this chapter or the rental agreement, until the landlord has attempted in good faith to restore the essential items or services; or
(d) Procure other housing which is comparable during the landlord’s noncompliance, and the rent for the original premises fully abates during this period. The tenant may recover the actual and reasonable cost of that other housing which is in excess of the amount of rent which is abated.
2. If the tenant proceeds under this section, the tenant may not proceed under NRS 118A.350 and 118A.360 as to that breach.
3. The rights of the tenant under this section do not arise until the tenant has given written notice as required by subsection 1, except that the tenant may, without having given that notice:
(a) Recover damages as authorized under paragraph (b) of subsection 1 if the landlord:
(1) Admits to the court that the landlord had knowledge of the lack of such essential items or services; or
(2) Has received written notice of the uninhabitable condition caused by such a lack from a governmental agency authorized to inspect for violations of building, housing or health codes.
(b) Withhold rent under paragraph (c) of subsection 1 if the landlord:
(1) Has received written notice of the condition constituting the breach from a governmental agency authorized to inspect for violations of building, housing or health codes; and
(2) Fails to remedy or attempt in good faith to remedy the breach within the time prescribed in the written notice of that condition from the governmental agency.
4. The rights of the tenant under paragraph (c) of subsection 1 do not arise unless the tenant is current in the payment of rent at the time of giving written notice pursuant to subsection 1.
5. If such a condition was caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, a member of his or her household or other person on the premises with his or her consent, the tenant has no rights under this section.
The Seegmillers tell Contact 13 the management company sent out their own vendor to make the repairs and as of 10:30 a.m. Thursday, the air conditioner is functioning properly. A burned out fan motor was blamed for the malfunction.