Local News


YOU ASK. WE INVESTIGATE. Woman says landlord won't fix broken air conditioning

Posted at 6:05 PM, Jun 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-22 22:10:09-04
A valley mom says she has been without air conditioning in her home for two weeks.
Jennifer Maines said her landlord knows about the problem and has not fixed it.
Maines said her husband bought a window unit out of pocket, and now two adults, three kids and two dogs are all sleeping in one bedroom.
"We just can't stand this heat," said her 9-year-old son Steven. "It's just sad for all of us."
Maines said the air conditioner was making a lot of noise and then suddenly stopped working on June 9.
"I can't cook, I can't turn on the oven, because it gets up to 97 degrees in the house," Maines said.
When 13 Action News went to her home around 11 a.m. one thermostat showed it was 88 degrees, and another showed it was 91 degrees. 
But Maines said it is hottest between five and six in the evening. Her text messages show she first notified her landlord on June 10.
"It makes me feel like crap," said Maines. "He obviously doesn't care."
In a situation like this, you have several options.
"Air conditioning is considered an essential service, especially in Las Vegas with this kind of heat," said Lauren Pena, directing attorney of the Civil Law Self-Help Center. "So what a tenant should do if the air conditioning breaks down is immediately send written notice to the landlord, via certified mail preferably."
Pena says if your landlord doesn't fix it or make a reasonable effort to fix it within 48 hours, you can further exercise your rights.
"Which are to either withhold rent, get the essential services himself or herself, like bring in their own air conditioning unit and then ask the landlord to pay for that, you can sue the landlord or can move out to a place that has those essential services," Pena explained.
13 Action News called Maines' landlord, who told us the air conditioning has not been fixed because the part the repair company needs has not come in yet. He also said he would take any money spent on fans out of their July rent. But Maines insisted he never told them that.
After our calls, the landlord said he would try and have the unit fixed sometime Wednesday evening. 
We will let you know what happens.