Landlord won't fix central AC unit, what am I to do?
My husband and I have lived in this apt. for 5 years now. And since June 23, 2003, we've been w/out central AC. Took them 2 weeks during the hottest summer I've ever endured to finally get a repairman out here just to tell us that "yep, it's broken alright!". My response: "REALLY? I hadn't noticed!!!" Three grueling weeks later they sent 2 repairmen out, to get on the roof of the building and check out the rest of the unit up there. We were then told that the whole unit needed to be replaced, that it couldn't be fixed and that would involve them renting a crane (our building doesn't have a roof hatch) to hoist the new unit up there and get the old one down and that it might take some time b/c it'd be hard to rent a crane in the busy summer months.....and they would also require a few days of decent weather in order to install it. We've had plenty of consecutive days of GREAT weather.....and I see cranes at rental places, just sitting there, not being rented out (there's one just a mile from us, so I know this to be a fact). They did install a window unit for us last year, but then took it out a couple months later while we still needed it. The window unit could only be put in our bedroom and we froze in there and sweated in every other room in the apt.
This year I've continued hounding them about it. They finally told me they'd replace it the 2nd week in May. Well that came and went....still no central AC. I finally cornered a repairman, who was in the building, over a month ago and asked him to put a window unit in, and he did. He said he'd be back to close up the window better (our windows open side-to-side, not up and down) the following day. Well, he never showed up. But here's the kicker, 2 hours after he installed it, it quit working. Two weeks later they finally sent out a guy who said "yeah it's broken, the motor's shot!.....I'll be back on Sunday w/ a new one". HE NEVER CAME! I'm so fed up! It's hotter in here than it is outside & in the hallways of the building. I can't open my windows b/c the screens aren't worth a damn.....the number of bugs that come in through them is insane! But I have to have the one decent window open b/c we desperately need the fresh air in here. We can't cook anything in the oven or on the stovetop....and forget about a nice hot shower! I walk 2 feet from my bedroom door to the bathroom and break a sweat. This isn't right. And the repairman told me that basically, they're ready to replace the unit, but they're having problems w/ the owners. Apparently they don't want to pay for it. It'd cost too much for the unit and the crane rental.....and it's an older building than all their others. Yet right now they're putting in central AC into some other apts. they own......we think it's b/c they're newer and in a better area.
I've written them letters and they claim they've never received them. My husband actually took a 3 page letter down to them last week. It's just that calling them daily isn't working, so maybe sitting in their air conditioned offices will be better!!! The claimed someone would be out here to put in another window unit for us 3 days ago....they never came, and we've been calling them since. We NEED a window unit in here NOW! But what we really need and deserve is our central AC back, in working order.....it's in our lease, it's what we're paying for, but not getting.
And according to the repairman, "it's insane what they [the landlords] get away with."
What else can I do? I've tried reporting them to places but I just get run around in circles. I don't want a bad relationship w/ our landlord, but this is insane! They're not holding up their end of the deal, so why should we? I've even contacted the local news who take care of things of this nature, but they have yet to get back to me. My landlord's website, that I just found this evening, states they "retain great relationships w/ their tenants and strive for greatness". BULL!
Would this classify them as slumlords? And if so how could I report them?