Residents at Town Plaza Apartments suffer without heat - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/30/09

Residents at Town Plaza Apartments suffer without heat

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By Brittany Pieper  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Residents at the Town Plaza apartments woke up Friday morning to below freezing temperatures and no heat. 

"It's miserable. I'm bundled up right now and I'm half frozen," said resident Dorthie Free who depended on a space heater and blankets to keep her warm during one of the coldest nights of the year. "It's like an iceberg in this house," she said. 

For almost a week Free says she's had no heat, and Thursday she received notice it could be another week before the complex can replace the broken boiler.

Free said this isn't the first time this has happened since she moved in 3 years ago, "When they're fixing to turn over from heat to air the air breaks down for 2 weeks. Then, when they switch over to heat it breaks down for 2 weeks."

Other residents complained about the problem, but appreciate the complex managers keeping them up to date. "They've always given us notice and a heads up when the heat is going to be turned on," said resident Kandace Manley. 

NewsChannel 11 tried to ask management at the apartment about the problem, but they referred us to their management company, Capstone, who did not return our calls.

Free does not expect any compensation for the inconvenience. "No. They expect us to keep our electricity bill and everything up and rent up and everything even when everything breaks down," she said. 

NewsChannel 11 took a copy of Free's lease to Lubbock lawyer Bob Craig. He says Free could take legal action under the Texas Property Code, "They certainly need to give notice to the apartment owner. Say look, its 20 degrees outside. I have no heat, and therefore it can't be inhabited under the proper conditions because you're paying for something that you expect to have heat of air conditioning at the appropriate time. So yes, there's something you can do about it." 

Craig says in a situation like this, tenants should expect an adjustment in rent.

A staff member at the apartment complex tells us the new boiler is currently on its way to Lubbock from Tennessee.

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