Air conditioning restored to sweltering Dallas apartments

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by SHON GABLES and CYNTHIA VEGA

Bio | Email | Follow: @shongables

WFAA

Posted on June 6, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 7 at 6:28 PM

Chevelle apartments

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DALLAS — There is heat relief relief for tenants in one Dallas apartment complex.

Air conditioning was restored Monday afternoon after residents braced for another day in the pre-summer heat wave without air conditioning.

The temperature inside Michael Howard's apartment at the Chevelle complex in the 2600 block of Throckmorton Street was 87 degrees on Sunday — and that was before the hottest part of the day.

The air conditioning had been out at the Chevelle apartments for several days.  Management posted a notice demanding all cooling units be removed from windows or tenants will be fined.

"I leave all the lights off because all it's going to do is produce more heat," Howard said. "I'm living like in the dark ages right now."

"I am having to buy an air conditioner and I'm doing it right now because I can't take it," said Douglas Toll, another  apartment resident.

"I called, left a message on the emergency. I figured they would come and fix it Sunday, since it's hot out but they didn't," said Raymond Mcleod.

News 8 tried and failed to reach a spokesperson for the apartment manager on Monday morning.

"In terms of just practical realities, this matter cannot be dealt with by the court system and by the Dallas City attorney any sooner than seven days and probably not any sooner that 14 to 21 days," said Darrell W. Cook, a landlord-tenant attorney.

He said under Dallas city code, in this kind of weather, landlords are required to keep apartment temperatures at 85 degrees or less. He advises tenants to contact Dallas city code enforcement, so they can get a city attorney to file for a temporary restraining order against the landlord to begin fixing the air conditioning system.

He warns tenants the worse thing they can do in a situation like this is withhold rent because then the landlord then owes you nothing.

Tenants said management has changed several times; the new owners apparently are based in California.

E-mail sgables@wfaa.com

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