COLUMBUS, Ohio — Three straight days of 90-degree temperatures have left residents at the Latitude Five25 apartment complex cooking inside their own homes, with an air conditioning system that’s been broken for more than two weeks, and malfunctioning elevators.
The complex has not responded to phone calls, emails, or in-person visits asking for an explanation or a timeline for repairs. ABC 6 On Your Side went into the rental office with cameras rolling Tuesday to ask for answers, but was eventually asked to leave under threat of a police call.
“It’s been kind of a nightmare,” says Levi Backen, who has only lived at Latitude Five25 for two months. “The A/C broke, and then the elevators broke, and it’s been two weeks and they’re both still down.”
Only one of two elevators in the West apartment tower is operational. ABC 6 On Your Side rode it with resident Brittany Scales on Tuesday and verified that the working elevator stops on every floor.
Brittany, a diabetic with a history of heart surgery, is now opting to climb twelve floors of hot, steamy stairwells just to reach her apartment in a reasonable amount of time. But her apartment is also stuffy: it measured 82-degrees in the living room Tuesday, with a portable air conditioning unit running full blast.
“They brought us the portable air conditioner, but it’s not doing anything,” Brittany said, pointing out the floor mattress she and her boyfriend sleep on. “It’s so much hotter in (the bedroom), we can’t take it. We had to move out here.”
A half-dozen residents at Latitude Five25 have contacted ABC 6 On Your Side in the last few weeks. More spoke with our crews on-site. Calls and messages to First Communities Management, which operates Latitude Five25, went unanswered on Tuesday. The company’s corporate office is in Atlanta, Georgia. Phone calls to the CEO, COO, and an executive vice president all went to voicemail.
The City of Columbus Department of Development confirmed Tuesday that it has received multiple complaints about inoperable elevators at Latitude Five25, but only one recent complaint about broken air conditioning.
The elevators fall under the jurisdiction of the city’s Division of Fire, which could not make records available Tuesday evening; the Department of Development had not had a chance to respond to the air conditioning complaints as of 5:00pm.