HAZELWOOD, Mo. – “It’s a bit ridiculous. Every single person I’ve talked to about this they honestly are shocked. I’ve never even heard of it, having no AC for over a year,” said Vanessa Downen, a Hazelwood resident.
Downen moved into the Hazelwood Forest Apartment last summer. She quickly learned that her air conditioner didn’t work.
“They determined it’s broken. We need to replace the entire unit. And then after that, I got very little information, very little action,” she said. “Almost nothing done at all for the next year.”
Downen claims that a new management company took over the complex a few months ago, complicating her efforts to get her air conditioning repaired.
“With that, all of the information pertaining to the maintenance orders that I put in, pertaining to the complaints that I put in, all of that information is gone,” Downen said. “Disappeared out of their system. So they didn’t know who I was. They didn’t know I didn’t have a working AC.”
And she said she’s not the only tenant with no air conditioning.
“They actually have a whiteboard above the desk in the office of the manager that has “ac units” written on it. Below it, about 13 other units. Mine is about the fifth one down,” Downen said.
She submitted a complaint to the City of Hazelwood and said she heard from a code enforcement officer who said he spoke to the complex about fixing her AC.
“He told them you have three days to get this fixed, or I’m taking you to court and slapping you with a fine,” Downen said. “Someone came in around 9 o’clock last night to take out my AC.”
While the old one is being replaced, her thermostat is telling the same old story. Downen has no plans to relax until the air conditioner is repaired.
“It’s not resolved yet. Especially because there are still other tenants in the apartment complex that don’t have AC,” she said. “I care about them too; it’s not just about me.”
The FOX 2 team went to the leasing office to speak with management about getting the air conditioners repaired, but no one answered the door or returned our phone calls. The same goes for the property management company.
We did hear from Hazelwood’s city manager. He said the apartment management told the city it was waiting for parts to arrive. They said permanent AC repairs are scheduled for Thursday. Hazelwood’s housing code requires heat but not air conditioning. However, the city issued the complex a five-day notice for maintaining electrical systems. The city manager said Hazelwood will continue to work with residents and the management company to address any non-working systems, such as air conditioning, in the buildings.
FOX 2 will keep you updated on this story.