INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A pregnant woman and her family say they have been left without air conditioning for more than three months at their west side apartment. They turned to FOX59 after weeks of reaching out to the apartment complex management for help without any action.
Brittney Towles is pregnant and said trying to stay cool inside her home has proven to be a challenge during this heat wave.
"Being in here, I’m never comfortable," Towles said.
She said she noticed her air conditioning was not working correctly when she tried to turn it on for the first time this spring. The problems have persisted for months.
"We purchased fans and window units but when it's 90 plus degrees, it’s not much of a help," Towles said.
Towles and her husband try to keep the fans and the window air conditioning unit going throughout the day in hopes of keeping their home bearable.
"[The window unit] is running at 68 and it reads 80 in here," Towles said. "If we didn’t have that on, it would reach well beyond that."
They say they are upset with the lack of response from management at the Covington Square Apartments, just off South High School Road.
"It’s just frustrating because it is just the basics," Towles said about her expectations from management.
She said they have even spent nights at relatives' homes in order to escape the heat.
"Nobody wants to stay away from home but it's miserable," Towles said. "So, we’ve been a little bit of everywhere."
She showed us an email dating back weeks that show her husband asking management to step in and fix the air conditioning.
"There are other air units and there are definitely other neighbors that need assistance," Towles said.
FOX59 called the leasing office for the complex Tuesday morning to give them a chance to respond to the situation. No one answered and we left a voicemail. Hours later, we visited the leasing office. While no one answered the door initially, employees walked out shortly after. Eventually, one of them told us the manager said FOX59 needed to leave the property.
"It's frustrating to pay them every month when you're not even able to stay here," Towles said. "This isn't home right now."
The Marion County Health Department said they do have the ability to cite management companies if maintenance issues like faulty air conditioning units are not fixed in a timely manner. The situation is heightened if there are children or pregnant women impacted. A spokesperson said tenants should contact the department if they face this sort of problem.
According to the health department, Covington Square Apartments has had the following issues since the beginning of the year:
- One court case filed which was dismissed for compliance (issue corrected).
- Seven complaints of which three were related to air conditioning not working. However, at the time of the inspections for those three complaints, they were found to be unjustified and no further action taken.
- Four housing orders were issued for various maintenance concerns, but none were related to air conditioning.