INDIANAPOLIS — As record heat impacts Central Indiana, the Marion County Public Health Department has received 25 complaints so far this week from tenants about problems with their air conditioning.
MCPHD’s Housing department received 11 “no air conditioning” complaints yesterday, June 13, and 14 complaints about “no air conditioning” as of midday, June 14.
The health department can cite landlords if they do not address a broken air conditioner.
“As you know, we always recommend tenants contact the property manager or landlord to report any issues with their living unit, such as a poorly working or non-working air conditioning unit,” Curt Brantingham, spokesperson for the Marion County Public Health Department said. “But, if a response is slow or not happening at all, they are welcome to contact us with a complaint at 317-221-2141 or online at MarionHealth.org.”
Brantingham says they typically see an increase in calls during times of heat and cold.
WRTV Investigates has reported in previous years that the health department can issue housing order violations to property owners for broken air conditioners, which can result in court action and fines of up to $2,500.
The health department typically gives landlords between 24 hours and 30 days to fix the air conditioning, depending on the urgency of the situation.
If there are elderly, young children, or people with medical issues in the home, or they do not have windows that open with screens, that will require a quicker fix.
“Sometimes landlords just don’t know, and when we call them, they say they’re working on it, or we need a part,” Lara Morgan, a team leader with the Marion County Public Health Department said.
Often, a health department order will do the trick.
Morgan emphasizes you have the right to a clean, safe place to live.
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"If they had air conditioning in their unit when they signed their lease, we can issue an order for that air conditioning,” Morgan said. "But they would certainly want to talk to their landlord first. We can't do the fix. All we can do is the enforcement to have it fixed."