Tenants left with no heat for weeks

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EATON RAPIDS, Mich.(WILX) - Imagine trying to get through the night with no heat. Especially in these dangerously cold temperatures.
People in the Edgewater Apartment complex in Eaton Rapids called us after weeks without heat.
They told News 10's Alani Letang they can't get any answers from management only space heaters as a replacement. Space heaters which are not getting the job done.

"I've got a five-year-old daughter and an almost two-year-old son, so to have them here with it being this cold, it's not convenient. It's not right for how much we pay," said Brian Ribby, a tenant at Edgewater.

That's $1,300 a month to be exact. Ribby said he is sick of taking his kids to his parents' house to warm up or to simply take a bath.

"We should be able to stay here and not have to go to my mom's and dad's house to give my kids a bath and to warm up and to actually be comfortable and sit here and watch TV or have my kids play," said Ribby.
When he complained to management, he said he was given a space heater.

"If it wasn't for the sunshine or us living on the south side of the building, it'd be freezing in here all the time and we'd be running our heaters here all the time to just barely keep it manageable, and I pay for that electric, they don't pay for it, I do," said Ribby.

Another tenant who wanted to remain anonymous told Letang he had to resort to using his oven for heat.

"I use a space heater plus I turn the oven on at night to 350," said the anonymous tenant. When asked if that was a good idea, he agreed it was not but, "it's enough to keep the temperature from dropping below 60," he said.

Even with alternative ways to heat their apartments, residents told Letang there is still no way around the cold water.

"That pissed me off, that's not right, we pay all this money in rent we have these expectations, we signed a lease that was a contract that said we would pay and they signed a contract saying they would provide these services and they are not being provided," said Ribby.

Letang went to the leasing office where an employee told me she wasn't at liberty to talk about the problem. She said the complex's owner, Harvest Properties, has been notified. The employee, however, said she was not able to give Letang a phone number or email for the owner. The Harvest Properties web site doesn't list any contact information. The lack of information and help has left some cold tenants frustrated.

"We need our heat," said Ribby.

Letang called the emergency maintenance phone number for Edgewater Apartments. The number has been disconnected. Ribby said he has talked with an Eaton Rapids building inspector who says he's working with the complex to get the heat back on. He told us that he will be putting his rent in escrow until the problem has been fixed.

We will keep you updated when we learn more information.