The Investigators

Sep 4, 2013 9:10 PM by Tom McNamara

Apartment residents sue over living conditions

A follow-up to a News 4 Tucson Investigators report we brought you earlier this summer. It's about residents of an east side apartment complex, who say they endured unbearable living conditions during the hottest days of June and July.

Things are heating up once again, as the residents are taking the apartment manager to court.

Five residents of Mountain Vista Apartments are suing the company that manages the complex on North Wilmot Road.

The five plaintiffs say maintenance workers shut off the chiller system to work on it. But, repairs took much longer than promised, and temporary portable air conditioning units weren't provided.

Some of those residents say the temperatures in their apartments were in the 90's, and even as high as 100 degrees.

Attorneys from Southern Arizona Legal Aid are now representing the residents in the case.

"We don't file lawsuits unless it's something important. Often times we will try to negotiate or try to work with an opposing party before things happen. Sometimes we can see that the issue is so great that there's very little that we can do, because, clearly if it's that big an issue, it would have been fixed by now, and a lawsuit is probably the only way you can get it fixed," says Managing Attorney, Beverly Parker.

The residents are now suing for damages. Among the claims, abuse of access, failure to repair, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud, and retaliation.

A representative of the company that manages the property refused to comment on the case.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators will continue to follow the latest developments.

If you have something you'd like the News 4 Tucson Investigators to look into, email us, at investigators@kvoa.com

Southern Arizona Legal Aid has some tips for tenants, and have also created the Arizona Residential Renter's Guide. Among the tips:

• Read your lease and all related documents before signing so you are not surprised later to find that you have done something that is prohibited or triggers additional fees or deposits. Keep a copy of your lease.

• Get receipts for all rent payments, especially payments made using cash or money orders. It can take weeks to verify that a money order was cashed, at a cost of $15 or more per order.

• Report major maintenance problems that may be health and safety violations to the County Health Department or City Code Enforcement. Seek legal advice if your landlord does not fix these issues immediately.

For more tips and additional information, contact Southern Arizona Legal Aid at (520) 623-9465.

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