Glendale residents complain after not having hot water at Country Creek Apartments for one week

Posted at 8:20 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 22:20:51-05

Frustrated residents living in Glendale's Country Creek Apartments contacted ABC15 for help after going without hot water for more than a week.

Residents living in the complex near 75th and Glendale avenues said it started more than a week ago with brown water flowing from their taps. 

"I felt disgusted, it was really gross, the biggest thing for me in the morning was not being able to shower," said Skyler Vasquez.

Since last Wednesday, residents said no water had been flowing from the hot water taps at all.  

Residents said management kept telling them they were working on fixing the problem, but they were frustrated with the lack of information.

"I think it's kind of illegal. You can't just not have the water off without compensating or doing something for the people living there. The whole back of the apartment complex is having this problem," said Vasquez.

Courtney Onojeta, another frustrated resident, said he had repeatedly called the apartment complex managers to find out when the hot water service would be restored, but was frustrated with the lack of answers.

"It's beyond frustrating. I can't explain it. I don't want to be mad. I just want to take a hot shower," said Onojeta.

ABC15 checked in with the Arizona Tenants Advocates about the residents' issue. Ken Volk said hot water was considered an essential service landlords were obligated to provide, and in reasonable amounts.

Volk said tenants should document when they notified the landlord about the problem and then "put them on notice." The landlord was obligated to provide alternative housing, discounts, or rental assistance to those affected but there was a catch.

"It's not an obligation of the landlord to educate the tenant. You should know your rights," said Volk.

ABC15 checked in with apartment complex management. A woman who identified herself as a manager but did not provide a name said they planned to give a five-day rental discount to all tenants affected by the problem.

She said only those tenants who had requested to be moved were provided an alternative unit while the water was out.

The woman said there had been a delay in fixing the issue as they had been waiting for the city to issue a key permit to replace an industrial boiler. They had just received the permit, so workers were finally able to fix the problem.

ABC15 reached out to the city of Glendale to find out how long it had taken to issue a permit when essential services were being affected.

A spokeswoman for the city said the permit application was received Wednesday afternoon. In a statement, a city official said:

"We expedited our plan review and issued the permit in less than 40 minutes. This was done because the applicant informed us the apartments were without hot water. If we received a similar application, in a non-emergency situation, it could take up to five days to process the building permit application."