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Living with no AC in your apartment? You may be able to break your lease

You're urged to file a complaint with health department
Arborwood at Mann Road Apartments
Posted at 5:27 AM, Jul 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-08 13:45:03-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Every summer, dozens of people reach out to WRTV when their landlord or property management won't repair the air conditioner in their home.

Many of the stories are similar: An unresponsive management group that continues to collect rent while tenants are forced to deal with sweltering conditions in their homes.

Christian Jarrell hasn't had air conditioning since April. He lives at the Arborwood at Mann Road Apartments which are owned by Herman and Kittle Properties, Inc.

RESOURCES | Marion County housing complaint form

"I put in a ticket with maintenance online. I noticed around May, I didn't think anyone had come by. I checked my ticket and it said it was closed out on April 23," Jarrell said.

Jarrell filed another request online and still ... nothing. He quickly figured out nothing was going to happen any time soon. He's been making do, buying fans for himself and his pets. While he's getting by, he knows other aren't so fortunate.

"I'm 29 years old," Jarrell said. "It's fine for me, but we have people who are pregnant here, we have kids, we have a lot of elderly people. People are sitting out front because it's nicer outside than it is in the apartment."

Besides filing a complaint with the Marion County Health Department, there's not much else Jarrell and his neighbors can do besides looking in to terminating their lease.

Tenants are allowed to terminate leases if the premises become uninhabitable, although air conditioning is not specifically mentioned in Indiana's tenant rights. Another option Jarrell looked into to fix the situation isn't allowed.

"In the State of Indiana, it's not like I can withhold my rent for not fixing my AC. I can still get evicted. It seems to me the state worries more about the landlord or property owner than the tenant," he said.

RESOURCES | Indiana tenant rights

At this point, Jarrell hopes the owners see what's happening in their complex and do the right thing.

"It's not good for the people," he said. "It's awful business, but also it's just inhumane."

Herman and Kittle Properties did not respond to our questions about their complex. The Marion County Health Department urges any tenant dealing with a situation like this to file a complaint.

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