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Central Georgia renters want to know how to deal with unresponsive landlords

Multiple viewers have reached out to 13WMAZ about their apartment complexes having no air conditioning, and they say it's taken weeks to get it resolved.

MACON, Ga. — How can renters resolve issues if the apartment complex staff isn't being responsive to repairs?

13WMAZ reached out to Warner Robins Code Enforcement and an insurance agent about what options renters have in this case.

Warner Code Enforcement Director Bill Mulkey says tenants can report complaints to his office. He says they'll go check it out to see if there's a violation on the landlord’s end.

“They have to maintain their facilities, plumbing, electrical, heat and air, so if they're not working, that is a valid case. So we give them 15 days to correct it,” said Mulkey.

If the landlord doesn't resolve the issue within 15 days -- they'll receive a citation.

“The code requires you to have heat. It requires ventilation. So, if you don't have air conditioning, you have to have windows that open, so you get ventilation. So, if you don't have air conditioning we can't make you put one in, but if you have one, you have to maintain it,” said Mulkey.

Mulkey says the windows must have screens on them. Renter's Insurance Agent Steven Stancil says if you're having issues with certain things not functioning correctly, look at your lease.

“Take a look at your contract, because every landlord should be providing some sort of lease agreement. Take a look in there. If the landlord is breaching his contract by not following the guidelines of what he promises he's going to do, you've got a really good case at that point. I might would seek out legal advice on what you should do,” said Stancil.

Stancil says having renter's insurance comes in handy for things the landlord isn't responsible for.

“You may have a lightning surge or some sort of thing that happens you lose all your appliances, you may lose your food in your refrigerator. If a toilet overflows and goes on the floor and ruins your furniture,” said Stancil.

He says damage from bad hail storms or house fires can be covered under renter's insurance.

For all major problems, he encourages renters to try to works things out with the landlord first.

“Landlords that I have come across, they're in for one thing, just pay your rent, they want to take care of you. They really do try to take care of the tenants the best they can,” said Stancil.

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