Denver-area renters struggle through heat wave without air conditioning

Problem Solvers

LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) — Imagine trying to make it through these hot days with no air conditioning. That’s what several people at apartment complexes without cooling systems suggest to the Problem Solvers.

They’ve been asking for help but are still stuck in the heat.

“I’ve called and called. No response. What can I do?” resident Tony Strah asked.

For the past several weeks at Kirkmoore Apartments in LIttleton, pouring water into the evaporative cooler has become a ritual. It’s part of an attempt to get some kind of cooler air.

“Imagine when it’s, like, 100 degrees outside, and we don’t have A/C inside, so it’s, like, a horrible situation. It’s just the worst,” Elvis Montenegro said.

One of the residents wrote us saying they’ve been asking management to fix many of the broken units, but they haven’t received an answer.

“Honestly, it’s just hot all the time,” said Tom Greene, as he sat outside on the balcony in the 100-degree weather. “It’s about as hot as it is out here as it is inside. I want to go to work, because at work, I have A/C. That’s what goes through my mind.”

One resident showed us water lines to the coolers that were not working. We also found units dripping water in front of people’s homes.

The Kirkmoore is managed by Atlas Real Estate.

“We want to move and fix these problems as soon as we can, but there is a supply chain issue,” Atlas Real Estate CEO Tony Julianelle said.

Getting parts to fix things like evaporative coolers has been challenging, Julianelle said.

We were also contacted about a resident at the Ivy Crossing Apartments in Denver. She told us she and others have not had air conditioning since April, despite complaining many times.

“You go try to take a shower, and you think it’s going to be OK by getting in front of the fans. No, it’s not. It’s like you have to shower constantly,” resident Waluta Killswarrior said.

The problem is so bad, Killswarrior told the Problem Solvers she’s been getting nosebleeds.

We contacted the Ivy Crossings property manager.

She told the Problem Solvers many units at the complex are either being repaired or replaced.

Killswarrior, she said, was already in the process of getting a new one and should have air conditioning by the end of Wednesday. (Editor’s note, Thursday, June 17, 5:12 p.m.: Killswarrior said apartment managers did indeed get her air conditioning working.)

Attorneys tell us that if you were led to believe your unit had air conditioning and it doesn’t, you may have grounds for a claim.

Earlier this week, The Problem Solvers worked on another story involving tenants who had no air conditioning.

Here’s more information from that story that may be helpful to people seeking to get their units working.

Tenant rights attorney Jacob Eppler tells the Problem Solvers habitability laws in Colorado that require a healthy living environment require heat to be provided, not air conditioning. There are exceptions, however, if the lease includes references to air conditioning or if maintenance of all appliances is promised in writing.

“If the landlord made representations to the tenant that this place has A/C and things of this nature when they’re entering into the lease, that may have grounds in that case to bring a claim by saying this was represented to me when I entered into this lease,” Eppler said.

Your lease may also outline measures that must be taken to provide cool air until repairs are made.

For more information, visit the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and Jacob Eppler, Attorney at Law.

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