Discrimination?

Various Disabilities

Hmmm. No words of wisdom here today, only a rant and opportunity to learn.

Well, I moved in to an apartment complex in April and fell in love with it. this summer however, the AC cannot cool the unit down to less than 75 degrees F when the temperature hits 90 or above. Furthermore, the unit runs virtually nonstop in order to even accomplish this much.
I submitted a work order, and an outside HVAC tech company came and said all was working perfectly. BUT, he also said that the unit was very old and woefully inadequate in size for an upstairs apartment. I thanked him, he left, and I waited….
One months goes by. Still no response from the office. I called to inquire about the status of my original work order once again. The complex’s own tech came this time and said the same thing as the first tech, and even added “these units are pure crap.” He said the only 2 real options were to either upgrade the central AC unit or possibly install a window unit in addition. He said he would inform the manager of his finding. I told him about my disability and how sensitive my fibromyalgia and ME/CFS make me to the heat, hence my urgency.
I get a letter on my door today from the new manager, who has been here for maybe 5 weeks. It basically states that since “I am seeking to install a window AC unit” that I have to fill out a request and bid form, and have a general contractor provide all of the info before said request for a window AC unit can be completed. It states that “Please note that you would be responsible for the cost of this modification.”
Adding insult to injury is the second page. It is a legal document, “Reasonable Modification Request” and says “The address listed above is occupied or is to be occupied by a person who is disabled by the Fair Housing Act.”
I’m a bit pissed off by this. They should fix the AC at their own expense. I will not buy or pay for an additional AC unit, nor pay for the extra expense of installing such said unit. Furthermore, I believe that by invoking the Fair Housing Act and the fact that I am disabled, they are trying to cover their own butts, but are also actually discriminating against me at the same time by doing so! They have an obligation to fix this issue outright, and are not “doing me a favor” by maybe allowing me to pay to have modifications made. Any insight would be appreciated before I go in and read her like a kindergarten book.

Love and peace,
Jeff

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Posted on August 23, 2013, in Disablity, Human Needs, Queer as Faith Blog. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Ryan and I had to deal with something like this before, but the upstairs unit was leaking…there AC unit was leaking so badly that we had to leave buckets down on our floor…. you being disabled they should have to get the apartment up to a certain code…. or they did in Oklahoma, of course we had mold growing, and mushrooms. So needless to say they couldn’t say it wasn’t there problem, it was there upstairs unite, and it was only because the up stairs lady was a crack head an broke her window so her AC caused so much condensation that thats what leaked out of our ceiling…we got a letter from our doctor saying it was bad for us to be in that apartment because of our health, and they had to get it up to standards…They have like 14 days to fix the problem, or you can fix it yourself and take it off your rent, being your doctor thinks this is bad for your health…..needless to say they put us up in a Motel for a week until they got the repairs done, and then my doctor said he didn’t think he was safe for us to be in there being immune compromised…so we had to up and move out anyways….. needless to say, had they fixed the problem before it became such a big issue then there wouldn’t have been such a big problem…but we had documented evidence where we had been on them to fix the leak for over a month…. i was glad to get out of the apartment…and glad we moved!!!! no one should have to live like that!!!

    • Thanks, Hairguruokc. Sorry to hear about your trouble. It sounds a lot worse than mine actually is. I just left them a letter stating in writing what is and is not acceptable. The ball is now in their court. I am going to take a nice long nap and cool off. I am fighting them not because I want to be “right” but rather because I CAN fight, know my rights, and know many of us cannot and do not. If I let them discriminate against me, it will certainly happen against others as well. Allowing them to go on and do that would be unconscionable.

      BTW, nice pic! 😉

  2. I decided to write a letter last Friday and stop it by personally to let the manager know that I wasn’t stupid or easily intimidated.

    Re: Installation of window air conditioning unit
    Re: Reasonable Modification Request

    Dear redacted:

    I have just been in contact with redacted with the Housing and Credit Counseling Inc. regarding both of the matters referenced above. Redacted stated outright that it is not my responsibility to pay for anything to be modified or fixed. She referred me to the Kansas Residential and Tenant Landlord Act. According to section 58-2553 paragraph 3 under “Duties of landlord” it states: maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning appliances including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by such landlord.”

    As discussed today, August 23, 2013 at 11:30 this morning in your office, I am stating in writing that I am under no obligation to pay to modify anything under my lease with redacted and redacted. I am hereby requesting that the current central AC unit be upgraded or replaced at your expense, as is referenced by the above section of the Kansas Residential and Tenant Landlord Act. I note that my original work order for the AC repair is dated July 17, 2013.

    Redacted also wanted me to point out to you again in writing that the Reasonable Modification Request form you included with your original response letter is superfluous, as it is not applicable to this situation. I am not asking for a reasonable modification to be completed as a person with disabilities. I am simply asking for the central AC unit to be upgraded or replaced as required by you under Kansas law as a legal tenant so that I may maintain my apartment at a comfortable temperature of 70 degrees irregardless of the outside temperature. Even if you were to install a window AC unit in my apartment, the added extra expense of electricity to run both a central unit and a window unit would be an undue burden that I should not have to bear. Once again it states that it is your responsibility as a landlord to maintain the original equipment under Kansas law. My being a person with a disability does not come into play here at all. I am simply a resident of redacted who is trying to remain comfortable in the heat and humidity of a Kansas summer. I am happy to remain patient as I await your response and expertise in resolving this matter. I love living at redacted and hope to continue to do so, even after my original lease expires.

    Best regards,

    Me

  3. Update: After handing the manager a strongly worded letter (posted as an update on this blog entry above) last Friday citing current Kansas law, I received a very pleasant phone call during lunch with Michael today. They decided to put in a brand new central AC unit in my apartment tomorrow morning at 9AM sharp at no cost to me; it took less than 5 business hours for them to decide to do so. Thank you, God!

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