Mesa apartment complex left without water, A/C

Posted at 4:59 PM, Apr 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-05 22:08:57-04

Dozens of residents living in a Mesa apartment complex are feeling the heat.

Residents say they've had no water or air conditioning since 2 p.m. Monday. Some residents had extremely low water pressure, with just a small trickle of water coming out of the faucets.

ABC15 showed up at the Sonoran Palms apartments in the 900 block of North Country Club Drive in Mesa. The property manager asked us to leave the property when we asked her why residents had no water or air conditioning.  

"We're waiting on the city to fix the valve," the manager said.  We tried to ask her how long it would take, but she asked us to leave.

"You can give me a call and we can talk on the phone," she said.

ABC15 attempted to contact the manager several times over the phone, but we were told that she was too busy to talk to us.

Randy and Joyce Sheffield, who live in the apartment complex, said with temperatures in the 80s and 90s, their apartment has been very stuffy.

"It's very hot. Our windows don't open all the way. It's old construction so there's not much ventilation. We've had no showers, you cannot do dishes, cannot shave, no brushing teeth," Randy Sheffield said.

They added that this was not the first time they'd lost water in the two years that they had lived in the apartments.

ABC15 asked them if the apartment complex had provided residents with any notification of the lack of water and air conditioning. The Sheffields said that a few hours after they lost water, maintenance workers were posting up notices informing residents that they were waiting on the City of Mesa to replace a broken valve.

ABC15 contacted the city of Mesa for answers, as the lack of running water could be a serious health code violation.

City officials said a private contractor hired by the apartment management had caused some damage.

"They were working on their chillers or the air conditioning unit, and they turned off our valve, which we don't want people to do without letting us know," said Kathy MacDonald, a spokeswoman with the city utilities department.

MacDonald said they would have crews in the area to fix the problem, although water pressure might be low for some residents.

City officials said they had been informed by the apartment maintenance crew that water was back on this morning, but when they checked, it was not good enough. They worked all afternoon to replace the broken valve, and had to wait until late afternoon so as not to affect other businesses in the area.

Janet Lucchesi, with the Arizona Tenant's Association, said landlords are required to give tenant's notice of any essential services being turned off at least 24 hours in advance. 

Since property managers did not return our calls, ABC15 was not able to find out when they provided the official notification. Residents say it was hours after they lost water.

Lucchesi also said that tenants have the right to relocate to a hotel or find other accommodations if the landlord was unable to provide "essential services." They could turn in the bills or have the property manager adjust their rent to recover the costs.

City officials said they expect residents to have water by this evening. The notice put out by property managers said residents would not have any air conditioning until Wednesday morning.