ABC13 Renters' Rights: SW Houston renter with health issues goes weeks without air conditioner

Courtney Carpenter Image
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
'It's hard to breathe' living in unit with no A/C, renter tells ABC13
A pair of siblings were suffering at Clarke Springs Rental with no air conditioning until ABC13 stepped in and spoke to management.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Imagine you have health issues that require you to be on oxygen and you go without air conditioning for more than a week. That was reality for one renter in southwest Houston until ABC13 stepped in.

"He took care of me when I was a kid. I'm going to take care of him," said Millie White, the sister of tenant Ray Allen.

White has had quite the task recently trying to take care of her older brother, who lives in the Clarke Springs Rental community in southwest Houston.

"After noon, we're ready to suffer," White said.

The air conditioner went out at Allen's home. Despite multiple calls and emails to the office, more than a week later, they were still sweating.

"It just be so hot, and I'm on this oxygen. At night, its hard to breathe," Allen explained.

White's main concern is her brother's health.

"He's not supposed to be in this heat like this, and I explained that to them. I don't have a whole lot of health issues, but not him. He can't live here like that," White said.

ABC13 called and emailed the management at Clarke Springs. They told us they sent someone to add Freon to the unit. White and Allen said that didn't fix it.

The siblings told us it had been getting well over 90 degrees inside each day for the past week. When ABC13 visited their home, it was already 88 degrees, and it was just after 9 a.m.

After we visited with management in person, a new unit was installed the next day. Finally, some relief for the siblings.

"After y'all talked to them, they really got on it and took care of it. I'd like to thank you," White said.

If you have an issue at your apartment, make sure you take pictures of the problem, then give written notice to your landlord about the specific issues. If you send the letter to management by certified mail return receipt requested, you only have to send one letter before exploring your next options. Make sure to keep a copy of the pictures and the letter.

If the landlord has not made an attempt to fix the issue in a reasonable amount of time, which is usually seven days, that is when you can look into filing a repair and remedy case or terminating your lease. Remember, you must be current on rent for your landlord to be required to make repairs.

Do you have questions about your rent? Are you struggling to get help from a landlord? Send us your questions, and we will look into it.

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