AUSTIN, Texas - Residents living in a South Austin apartment complex say they had been living with no hot water for nine days. Now, there is a temporary fix, but residents still say the experience was "frustrating" and "inconvenient."
The Dexter Apartments experienced a gas leak, according to property management. Gas to the property had to be shut off immediately.
As a result, this left residents having to take cold showers, taking their clothes to laundromats, and finding other places to do their day-to-day tasks.
"I was just frustrated more than everything," said resident Alexis Hooks. Hooks said she was lucky enough to have somewhere else she could go, but she knows many others in the complex didn't.
That was what happened to Larry Hanson and his fiancée. They resulted to having to boil water. "It would take about an hour or so to fill up the bathtub," he said.
He said if they did result to taking cold showers, the wind chill from the apartment would be unbearable.
Hanson works in retail and said he depends on taking showers. Adding especially now being out in public and not knowing who he is exposed to, worries him. "Being in retail, being in the public, not being able to wash my hands, take a hot shower - it’s an important thing," he said.
He adds this isn’t the first time he’s experienced problems with this complex. "I feel like it's really unorganized," Hanson said. "I don't know if it's the management or the property."
Hooks says for the time they were without hot water, she wishes the complex would have done more. "It's frustrating and I don't think we are getting any money off," she said.
The Dexter Apartment Complex provided Fox 7 Austin with the following statement:
The Dexter Apartments experienced a gas leak, and in the interest of safety, the gas to the property had to be shut off immediately. Unfortunately, this caused a disruption in hot water service to the residents at our community. Since then, the hot water has been restored to every resident via a temporary fix that allows us to heat the boilers without using the gas line. This allows us time to complete the repair to the gas line to permanently restore service while still having hot water in every apartment home while the repair is completed. We have been working with The City of Austin, as well as Texas Gas Service, to ensure that the repairs are completed in the correct way.
According to the Austin Tenants Council, residents should notify landlords in writing or certified mail of any requests of reimbursements. If the tenant does so and management fails to respond, then they advise seeking legal advice.
Hooks added that throughout the process, management was open and communicating with them as best she thought they could. "I do think they did do their best," Hooks said. "It was a hassle... But I'm happy we have our hot water back."
The apartment complex is and has been working with the city and code enforcement and said they hope to get the gas leak resolved within the next week or so.