Apartment Residents Have No Hot Water - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/29/04 - Tyler

Apartment Residents Have No Hot Water

"Tuesday morning, it was ice cold about 7 o'clock in the morning," Cheryl Crosby, tenant of Dove Tree Apartment Homes, said. "My husband tried taking a shower and he said, 'No way.'"

"I was going to take a shower and I froze," Richard Young, tenant, said.

This is the story of the tenants at Dovetree on Rice Rd.: 200 apartments, all without hot water for the past week and likely for at least two more weeks.

"I was pretty irate," Crosby said.

The complex's main boiler is broken. So most residents are having to boil water to take showers and wash the dishes.

"Like you're living in the 1800s," Crosby said. "I run out of buckets because you can't take a bath with just one bucket."

Many residents living here feel they do not have to pay rent because they don't have hot water. But according to Texas law, they still have to pay rent. And in this case, the apartment complex is taking steps to make repairs.

"When we went to look for a new boiler, we weren't worried about price, we weren't worried about what kind, or the best or the worst," Linda Neeley, property supervisor, said. "We were worried about when it could be here."

In the meantime, Dovetree management is allowing tenants to take showers at two other apartment complexes under the same management. Tenants also get free water for the month. Meanwhile, all they can do is adapt to the inconvenience.

This is the second apartment complex in Tyler this week whose residents were without hot water. Tyler Square Apartments had also been without hot water for more than a week. But the apartment says the problem has been fixed.

If management in either case had not been responsive to problems that affect tenants' health and safety, a renter does have legal options. After you've given a written notice, you can pay a reputable company to fix the problem and deduct the cost from one month's rent. Or, you can break your lease without penalty.

Julie Tam, reportng.

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