OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Troubling times are continuing at a metro apartment complex, as some tenants say they’ve been stuck without air conditioning for weeks in the heat.
“This could be a life or death issue,” said Rep. Mickey Dollens, D-Oklahoma City. “They’re going without air conditioning during one of the hottest weeks on record.”
KFOR first reported on the Creekside Apartments about two months ago after some tenants had been without working hot water for weeks. We’re told that issue has mostly been resolved.
But now, tenants say they’re baking in scorching hot apartments.
“I’m afraid I’m going to get a heat stroke,” said Michael Milligan, a tenant. “I would say it’s probably about 90 plus degrees [inside my apartment] and even though we have fans running inside, it’s still hot.”
According to Milligan and Rep. Dollens, this issue has been reporting to the complex’s landlord.
“They are ignoring these complaints,” said Rep. Dollens. “They’re saying that there’s no formal complaints.”
The Creekside Apartments are owned by a company based in California called Capitol Homes Investments LLC.
Despite tenants saying they’ve filed work orders, Landlord Jose Belman is insisting he hasn’t gotten any.
“I want to help everyone, we just don’t get the request orders,” said Belman on a phone call with KFOR. “We can’t do much when we don’t have any work orders, as you know. It’s just the normal process… They’re working on that now to get that rectified.”
Belman said he’s having a mechanical company go out to the apartments to fix the AC either this Wednesday or Thursday.
Rep. Dollens says with Oklahoma being one of six states in the country without anti-retaliation laws, he fears it makes the state a prime target to take advantage of Oklahomans.
“A lot of people at this apartment complex are afraid to speak up in fear of being retaliated against,” said Rep. Dollens. “I spoke to one tenant last week who said that after he went on camera, he was told by management that he was looking at eviction.”
Milligan added that he’s been told he will be “kicked out for doing what I’m doing,” referring to him speaking to media outlets about the issues.
However, Belman’s denying this – via a text conversation, News 4 asked if there was any truth to this threat to which Belman replied, “not at all.”
“It’s imperative that we do all that we can to get the attention of the out-of-state corporate landlord to get them to fulfill their obligations that they made to the tenants and make sure they have a humane and habitable place to live,” said Rep. Dollens.
Dollens said he and his team are working on creating an anti-retaliation law in Oklahoma. He also said he’s working with a city attorney to ensure no tenants at the Creekside Apartments get evicted for speaking out.