Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Housing Rights-Repairs



From the Spring 2011 Austin Tenants' Council Newsletter:

No one wants to deal with repair issues, especially not after a move. Unfortunately, in the first month at his new apartment, Tyrone Branch faced a number of problems including a roach infestation, malfunctioning electric outlets and bathroom vent, and cabinets with rotted wood.
When he could not get the manager to respond to his repair requests, Branch contacted ATC. Housing specialist Linda Aleman met with Branch at his apartment and documented the conditions. Funded by the City of Austin NHCD, the Renters’ Rights Assistance Program, helps low-income renters enforce their rights for repairs through advocacy and mediation.
After receiving Aleman’s letter, the manager promised to make the repairs but wanted to charge Branch for pest control. Aleman advocated for Branch, advising the manager that because the roach infestation was an existing problem when Branch moved in, the cost to exterminate was the landlord’s responsibility.
“I cannot thank ATC enough,” Branch says. “Everything on my list was fixed.”
Rental repair assistance is a free service available to Austin residents who do not exceed income guidelines. Call 474-1961 for an initial phone interview.