Cary tenant says unit's A/C problems put her small children at risk

Michael Perchick Image
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
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Residents with no air conditioning still seeking answers from apartment complex

CARY, NC (WTVD) -- A Cary family said they had to leave their rental apartment because of ongoing air-conditioning issues that they said created a dangerous situation for their two young children.

Chelsea Guy-Johnson gave birth to her daughter just six days ago. The baby was born about four weeks premature but was able to go home.

For now though, "home" is a family member's house in Durham.

Guy-Johnson said maintenance at her apartment complex, Woodlyn on the Green in Cary, has only been able to offer temporary fixes, but no long-term solution.

"They just keep pouring on Freon and that's just going to go out basically, and then they're going to have to keep pouring it on. So it can be air for one day or air for a couple days. And then it's going to be out, and they're just going to continue it. And I told them that's not, that's not going to work," she said.

She also has a 3-year-old son, Gabriel, who suffers from asthma. The increasingly high-temperatures outside make A/C more important than ever for her young family.

"I see a report every week about children being left in cars or in the heat, and that automatically makes me extremely nervous," Guy-Johnson said.

Off camera, Woodlyn on the Green told ABC11 that it tried to contact Guy-Johnson on Tuesday to address her concerns. As far as the management is aware, the A/C issue has been resolved, and Guy-Johnson is encouraged to contact the office with any further needs.

Guy-Johnson said she was not aware of any other apartments in the complex with A/C concerns.

She has already paid her rent through July and is now exploring legal options to get out of her remaining lease and recoup her funds.

Each respective city and town has their own regulations in how to deal with a rental agency or landlord who does not make repairs.

In Cary, landlords must ensure their property meets the "minimum housing" code, and you can file a complaint if they don't.

In Durham, tenants can file complaints with the Department of Neighborhood Improvement Services.

In Orange County, the Landlord's Obligation requires landlords "to make any and all repairs necessary to ensure that your housing unit and the common areas are safe and fit."

In Raleigh, tenants are encouraged to send their complaints to their landlord or property manager in writing in order to keep a copy for their records. Until the owner or landlord is notified of the problem, they are generally not responsible for fixing it. They further add that "The landlord must fix any of the "imminently dangerous" conditions also within a reasonable amount of time once they know of the condition. What is considered a reasonable amount of time will depend on the severity of the condition or how bad it is."

To read more about Raleigh's housing policies, click here.