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Lack of heat at Downtown Indianapolis luxury apartment complex concerns residents

nine on canal apartments
Posted at 5:50 PM, Dec 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-27 17:50:32-05

INDIANAPOLIS — INDIANAPOLIS — In the last few days, Central Indiana has seen bone-chilling temperatures and residents of a downtown luxury apartment complex, 9 on Canal, say they haven't had any heat.

WRTV saw firsthand the problems the residents are facing with their thermostats. When we walked into the leasing office, the temperature was in the 50's. Some residents say it's the same for their apartment units.

"I came back Christmas Day and it was freezing in my apartment. When I looked, it was somewhere between 42-49 [degrees] in the hallway," said Crystal Deel.

Crystal Deel calls the 9 on Canal home. She's frustrated and says space heaters are the main thing keeping her warm.

"I was laying under the covers with my dog ... and my fingers were pruning — that's how cold it is," she said.

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The Marion County Public Health Department fined the 9 on Canal owner $2,500 three weeks ago for heating devices being in poor condition or missing throughout the property.

The health department notes the property is required to heat all habitable rooms and bathrooms to at least 68 degrees.

Tuesday, we found that's not the case.

The leasing office was 59 degrees, although the thermostat is set at 73. The gym was 51 degrees, but the heat was set at 89.

Deel says her apartment is in the 60's.

"It is very cold outside. It's the middle of winter and it's not fair for us to have to go through this. I think something should be done to make this right for us," said Deel.

Deel isn't the the only one reaching out to WRTV with heating and air concerns.

Executive Director of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, Amy Nelson, says it's unacceptable.

"It is a major concern. I think that we are starting to see all times of the year issues around habitability — whether it's the summer, its A/C issues. All times through year, it's water or sewage. This time of the year, it's issues with heat as well and we just continuously see these stories," she said.

WRTV asked the onsite managers why residents are without proper heat. We were told they couldn't give us a comment.

WRTV also emailed the property manager and are waiting for a response.

"We need to some changes happen at the state level to ensure tenants have some very basic rights that are available in so many states that we don't have here when they have these serious habitable issues," said Nelson.

The Fair Housing Center for Central Indiana says you can reach out to them if you are being singled out or discriminated against.

If you are experiencing an issue with your apartment building, etc. contact the local health department, legal services or the attorney general's office.

  • Marion County Public Health Department: 317-221-2000
  • Legal Services Indianapolis: 317-635-9538.
  • Indiana Attorney General's Office: 317-232-6201.

It's also important to know what rights you have as a renter.

According to the Housing4Hoosiers website, if your landlord does not fix a problem in a reasonable time, state law says you can sue.

The organization also says you should speak with a tenant's rights attorney to evaluate your options, especially if a landlord is invading your privacy, not keeping the premises safe and in compliance with health and housing codes, or if a landlord is failing to fix appliances or provide adequate heat and hot water.