City workers are being kept busy ensuring tenants across Dallas have functioning air conditioning as the summer heat ramps up.
Apartment complexes are legally required to maintain functioning air conditioning systems for their tenants, but that requirement is not always followed.
Dallas City code states that property managers must “provide, and maintain, in operating condition, refrigerated air equipment capable of maintaining a room temperature of at least 15 degrees cooler than the outside temperature, but in no event higher than 85° F.”
When a Dallas tenant’s AC is not working properly, they have the option to contact the Code Compliance Department. A City inspector will then come to the unit and check the temperature to see if the code is being violated.
City spokesperson Ashley Guevara told The Dallas Express that since May 29 this year, Code Compliance has responded to 157 calls for inoperable AC units. She said that last summer, from May 29 to August 21, the department responded to 1,208 such calls.
“If … we find that the property is in violation, we’ll issue a notice of violation to the property owner,” said department supervisor Theopolus Rhodes per NBC 5.
Guevara told The Dallas Express that a violation is confirmed upon the code inspector’s arrival 99% of the time.
“However, violations are addressed within 24-48 hours (or alternate solutions are provided by the property manager until the repair is completed),” she continued. “Very seldom does Code resort to issuing citations.”
She said that if the property manager is issued a citation and does not fix the issue within 48 hours, a citation of $651 will be issued.
“Depending on the urgency and the severity of that situation, the case is escalated to the Community Prosecution team with the Dallas City Attorney’s Office for further enforcement,” she said.
Rhodes recommends that owners of older buildings preemptively stock up on portable units as older AC systems are more likely to break down. Window ACs are also an option, one that has recently evolved with the introduction of a U-shaped unit that has captured the attention of consumers.
Apartment tenants within Dallas city limits whose air conditioning stops working can call 311 or submit a request online.