Tenant calls chilly temps in her apartment 'unacceptable'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Meredith Loy keeps a thermometer in her living room.  On a recent Friday afternoon, the temperature read below 50 degrees.

A single window unit in her bedroom is supposed to heat the apartment at 27th and Charlotte.

"I stay in this room with the door closed," Loy said. "I've got a heating pad and some really good wool blankets and I just stay here all day."

This fall, the owner discovered the steam boiler-- which provides heat-- was broken and not repairable.

"We deeply regret any inconvenience or discomfort that this unfortunate incident might cause you," the owner said in a letter to tenants.

Loy said she began to file complaints with the building manager in mid-November.

"It's unacceptable," Loy told Call for Action.

A few weeks later, Kansas City building inspectors cited the owner for a codes violation due to the lack of heat. He has 30 days to respond to it.

In a written statement to Call for Action, Randall Cuthbert called the steam heat a "secondary" heating system. He said after it broke, building managers upgraded electrical heating units and also gave tenants "supplemental area heaters."

Loy keeps a space heater in her bathroom.

"I can't even stand in the kitchen long enough to cook a meal," she said.

The owner hopes to have the steam unit fixed in January. He says tenants like Loy can move out without penalty.

If you have an issue with your landlord, most state laws allow them a period of time like a couple of weeks to fix problems like a broken heating system.  If you are unable to get results, it is usually best to report problems to your city codes department.

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