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TROUBLESHOOTERS: Peoria apartment manager calls HVAC company to fix a/c after Troubleshooters step in

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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) -- Katie O'Neill, her 2 children, and their cat have called The Grove apartments in Peoria home for more than 5 years.

She said there haven't been many issues until now.

"The air has always been a little bit of a problem since we've been here, but it's mainly just circulation. Now it's just nothing," said O'Neill.

She said the problem started in April.

She went to turn on the air conditioning and there was hot air.

O'Neill reached out to management, but felt she was getting the run around.

"For awhile it was just 'We're looking for a company to do it. We're working on it. We have somebody that will do it and then it's o no we have to hire a company to do it.' This time they have had a couple different companies out that have looked at it, but nothing has ever happened. Nothing."

The family was given a portable a/c unit, which is in O'Neill's room.

O'Neill said her daughter sleeps in her room and her son brings fans in his room to try and stay cool at night.

An email from the manager dated July 22nd said, "At the end of June I told you that we have to install a new furnace and a/c unit. Right now you are 1 of 15 installs taking place. We haven't forgotten about you. I am waiting for our contractor to give me install dates. Once I have them, I'll let you know."

With no date for the work to be done, O'Neill's co-worker emailed our team a few weeks later and asked for help.

O'Neill said this has been an uncomfortable summer and she's sick of her family being in this situation.

O'Neill said, "When they're hot and frustrated and they can't do anything because they have to sit in one spot in front of the air or they both are in my room and then they argue. It's just getting a lot of phone calls and then if I have a long day at work...as soon as I walk in the door I'm grouchy because I'm hot."

Joe Dulin, Assistant Community Development Director for the City of Peoria, said unlike heat there are no laws for property managers to follow when it comes to air conditioning.

"Make sure it's in your lease because if it's something in your lease that's a legal obligation that the landlord has to abide by," said Dulin.

In O'Neill's lease under Requests, Repairs, and Malfunctions: "Air conditioning problems are not emergencies. If air conditioning or other equipment malfunctions, you must notify our representative as soon as possible on a business day."

Under the Responsibilities of Owner and Resident it said, "Responsibilities of owner...maintain fixtures, furniture, hot water, heating, and a/c equipment."

The website also lists air conditioning as an amenity, so it is the managers responsibility to fix the issue.

"I just want air conditioning to be here or I want an actual answer that's going to give me an actual day when it's going to happen. That I have proof that it's actually going to happen," said O'Neill.

The Troubleshooters reached out to the manager to ask what's going on.

Less than 2 hours after our call, O'Neill got an email that said ENTEC would be at her apartment Monday at 7 a.m. to install a new a/c and furnace.

As of Monday afternoon the manager said everything has been resolved, but the Troubleshooters have this email she sent to O'Neill, which said "The air handler did not come in like I was told. The shipper says it will be Wednesday afternoon. Thursday morning they will be back to your apartment to finish the install."

The Troubleshooters will be following up on this story.

Jessica Cook

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