Multiple major gas leaks affect Southeast Austin apartment complex
AUSTIN, Texas - For the past five days, people at The Social apartment complex on Oltorf Street have been without gas. That means dozens of people living there have no hot water, heat, or gas to cook with.
The apartment manager has not been able to provide any kind of timeline for when the gas will be restored at this point, but code enforcement said they let the property manager know they must provide places for people to stay with access to heat and hot water.
“It's been pretty bad the last few days,” said Nick Rodriguez, who has lived at The Social for the past three years.
On Monday, Rodriguez said he realized something was missing.
“I was going to warm up some coffee on my stove and when I turned on the stove, it just kept clicking and clicking and clicking and I realized that there wasn't any gas,” Rodriguez said.
He thought the issue would be resolved quickly, but days later nothing has changed.
“We haven't been able to shower with warm water, we haven't been able to heat up our house at night, so, as you can imagine, it's just been very difficult to go without gas,” said Rodriguez.
People who live at The Social said management originally told them there was a gas leak, which forced them to shut off services, but after an inspector surveyed the property, the outlook got worse.
“First they found a few leaks, I think it was just two at first, and then the inspectors came. And then the City of Austin got involved, and the last update we've had, they found up to 20 major leaks, in their words, throughout the complex,” Rodriguez said.
That has people like Nick concerned that they could've been exposed to dangerous gas without knowing it.
“We haven't received any kind of safety procedures or advice from the management about what to do or how soon the situation will be fixed,” said Rodriguez.
On Thursday, the property manager suggested renters check with their rental insurance company to be reimbursed for any money spent on a hotel. Although, many renters said they can't afford to pay for that upfront.
“The rent at the complex here, it's about average what you would find in Austin, but I know a lot of families struggle to make ends meet and planning for an unexpected hotel stay is really definitely not in the budget for some of us,” Rodriguez said.
The property manager said she was busy booking hotel rooms for renters when Fox 7 Austin stopped by to talk with her. We emailed her some questions, but have yet to receive a response.