Editors Blog


Torturing Tenants by Refusing to Fix HVAC?

April 24, 2012

I recently saw an article posted online about a college in Alabama that was delinquent in repairing the HVAC and plumbing in one of its campus dorms. Apparently, the college hadn’t repaired the hot water system, leaving students without hot water for seven weeks, and had also failed to repair the a/c when it stopped working.

Those living conditions certainly sound like they might be ruining the party for students living in that dorm. So I wasn’t surprised to see a comment posted to the article from someone who appeared to be an angry student complaining about the college’s lack of concern about the situation.

What did surprise me was that the next comment posted to the article was from a contractor who said he’d seen scenarios like this before. In fact, he claimed he’d seen many landlords refuse to fix the HVAC in a property as a way to torture their tenants into moving out and consolidating into a different building.

Are there any other contractors who have run across a torture-the-tenants situation like this? It sounds a little crazy to me, but I’ve run across my share of crazy landlords, so it doesn’t seem entirely out of the realm of possibility.

While I can’t imagine that torturing tenants is a very effective approach to running a business, I also don’t like the idea that it could potentially hurt the reputation of the HVAC industry. So post a comment and let me know if you’ve ever seen anything like this.

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