Coconut Grove Apartment tenants claim they've been without consistent hot water for months

PHOENIX - Hot water is one of the utilities that an apartment complex is required to provide tenants. However, at what temperature 'hot' is defined is another issue.

Ken Volk, president of the Arizona Tenants Advocates Association, a group that provides resources and education for Arizona tenants, says that Arizona law requires landlord's provide tenants with "reasonable amount of hot water at all times."

The issue is that the City of Phoenix does not define what a reasonable amount of hot water is.

Residents at the Coconut Grove Apartments in Phoenix are frustrated because, they say, they haven't had consistently running hot water for months.

Jerry Rawson, who moved into the complex in August, claims that he has had hot water only 10 times since he moved in.

"I get no hot water, but almost warm. Long enough that I can almost do my dishes," he said.

We used a thermometer to test the water temperature at a couple units. We found that the temperature ranged from 70 to 82 degrees at its hottest temperature.

Den Nalson, a tenant who has lived at the complex for a year, said he has to take a shower at 6:30 a.m. If he doesn't, "you're out, until maybe, you might luck out again at about 2 o' clock."

He also said that he has to boil is water to do his dishes.

Volk said he considers water temperatures between 80-83 degrees to be "inadequate."

Volk also said tenants should first file a complaint at their management office. The landlord has five days to respond to the complaint. Once that time passes, tenants can then contact the City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department.

At some point, if an essential utility is not provided, then there may be a claim of breach of contact.

Tenants should really familiarize themselves with the Arizona Landlord and Tenant Act, which can be downloaded and read at the Arizona Department of Housing website.

Rawson said he has filed a civil lawsuit with the management company, who refused to provide a comment to ABC15.

"I would just like my own hot water, that's all," said Ralson.

Neighborhood Services said they have not received any recent complaints. The last complaint they received regarding the complex was in 2008.

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