NAMPA, Idaho (KBOI) - Autumn Jones is the receptionist here at KBOI News. When she told us that her heat stopped working five days ago we began to wonder how long a landlord has under the law to make repairs.
On Saturday, a coil went out on Jone's hot water heater which also heats up her apartment. By Monday, a maintenance crew had fixed the hot water, but the heat still didn't work. Since then her family has had to wear extra cloths and use blankets around their home.
Boise attorney Sunrise Ayers said according to Idaho Law a landlord has to complete repairs on vital things in a timely manner.
"If they are things like weather proofing, water proofing, heating, cooling, sanitary systems, or health and safety issues then the landlord has to make that repair within three days," said Ayers.
There is a catch to the whole process.
All request have to be made in writing and most people only put in a phone call to their landlord to let them know the problem. If a landlord doesn't complete the repairs in the three days then a tenant can sue to get the work done, or for reimbursements for cost like getting space heaters.
"How is a renter supposed to know that because when you first move in they say if there is a problem then you call the manager and they will send out somebody," said Jones.
We did contact Verity Property Management who runs the Brookside Apartments. They declined to talk with us on camera, but did say they were working on the problem. According to emails provided by the manager, they have figured out the problem, but the part needed was only available in Nevada and was being shipped next day.
When the heat originally went out a maintenance worker did bring a space heater, but Jones said it was only used for her daughters room. In one of the emails the maintenance person told management they didn't need any more and that they were doing fine. A statement Jones denies telling them.
Once we contacted Verity they did bring an extra space heater, but Jones had to turn them down. She told us she's worried about the higher electricity bill due to so many space heaters. The management company said it is policy to offer a tenant $50 to help cover extra electricity when things like this happen. Although the manager did confirm that neither her nor any of her employees actually informed Jones about the refund.
Jones told us she is more upset about getting what she calls "wishy washy" answers to her questions. She said she was be very understanding if she knew the parts were being shipped, and would have taken the extra space heaters if she had known about the extra money.
For more information on renters rights head to the Idaho Attorney Generals website.