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Sweating it out: Florida law does not require landlords to provide working a/c to tenants

Carol Russell contacted the "Ask Anthony" team for help. She had been without air conditioning for more than a month.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As Carol Russell wipes off sweat, a small fan sits in the corner of the room providing little comfort as the thermostat in her apartment climbs to 86 degrees.

"The thermostat says 90s sometimes," Carol Russell added. 

Russell lives at the Mayfair Village Apartments off Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville. She says the A/C unit broke in July and the managers at her apartment complex told her they were waiting for approval to buy a new one. In the meantime, she leaves her apartment during the day to find relief. 

"Ride the city bus, go into the library, going to different stores and act like I'm shopping just to stay cool."

Russell was provided with a portable A/C unit in her bedroom by the apartment complex. But, she showed the "Ask Anthony" team it was leaking on the carpeted floor. We were told by someone in the leasing office that the main unit for her apartment should be fixed soon. 

According to state law, landlords are required to comply with building, housing and health codes. If you live in an apartment, the landlord must exterminate rats, mice, ants, and bed bugs. You must be provided with door locks and keys, clean and safe conditions of common areas, functioning facilities for running water, hot water and heat during the winter. But, believe it or not, Florida landlords are not required to provide A/C to tenants.  Recently, two state lawmakers tried to pass new legislation to make A/C a requirement, but it failed. 

Russell just wants relief from the heat. 

"It's rough. Tossing and turning and my bed wet from me sweating."

Tuesday morning, the "Ask Anthony" team received a statement from TPI Management, the corporate owners of Mayfair Village Apartments:

We apologize for any inconvenience Ms. Carol Russell has experienced due to the AC unit issue in her apartment. Our team immediately responded by providing her with a portable cooling unit to alleviate the discomfort caused by the AC unit outage. We understand the urgency, particularly given the current excessive heat warnings.

 The delay in resolving this matter is primarily due to unforeseen challenges in sourcing replacement parts and the extended lead times that have become common in the current market. We understand how important a comfortable living environment is for our residents, and we are actively working to expedite the repair process.

 We have provided Ms. Russel with a second temporary unit and assure you that the new AC unit is scheduled to be installed today. We are fully committed to completing the repair as swiftly as possible to ensure Ms. Russell's comfort and well-being. We greatly appreciate your understanding as we navigate these circumstances.

 If you require any additional information or updates for your story airing today, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We are dedicated to transparency and open communication with the media.

 Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention, and we appreciate your cooperation in shedding light on our efforts to address resident concerns.

Russell confirmed Tuesday night that her air conditioning unit is working again.

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