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'It's freezing': Apartment residents without heat for nearly a week, again

Posted at 7:43 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 19:43:25-04

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Southfield apartment complex is going on nearly a week without heat, according to several residents.

This isn't the first time 7 Action News looked into complaints about The Sapphire apartments off the Lodge Freeway.

"If I had known that my kids wouldn't have had heat, I would have never came here," a resident, who chose to remain nameless, said.

A lack of heat at The Sapphire apartments prompted the tenant to buy multiple space heaters. Having lived in the unit with his family for almost a year, he said that's long enough.

They're preparing to move, and he's done dealing with management over chronic heat problems and other issues.

"Every two weeks, it works and then it's off for two weeks," he said.

"It's been cold for like the past week, so that's why we left. We went and got a hotel room because it was my daughter's birthday, so we wanted to be warm for her birthday. We didn't want nobody in a cold house," he continued.

Another tenant, Morgan, told 7 Action News, "It's just back and forth and back and forth."

She lives on a different floor much higher up. Morgan says she and her daughter depend on fireplaces she bought to stay warm. The heat is just one of several issues she said she's had to deal with.

For the past two months, Morgan said she's put her rent money in escrow until the heat problem is permanently fixed.

"When it gets cold, we leave. But you're still charging me a month's full rent when I haven't been home in two, three weeks and not because I don't wanna be at home," she explained. "It's freezing."

Someone made that clear by defacing the wall next to the first floor elevator. "It's cold" and "No heat" were scratched into the wall.

This isn't 7 Action News first visit to The Sapphire. Most recently, the station exposed heat and hot water issues in late January.

At the time, the city of Southfield building department issued a violation. Ressco, the apartment management company, then installed a temporary boiler.

But, here we are again.

"We shouldn't be cold. I pay too much money to be cold consistently," Morgan said.

Tuesday, the city shared a letter with 7 Action News that it sent to the company that owns The Sapphire. The letter stated The Sapphire has 48 hours to fix the issue before the city's legal department gets involved.

7 Action News reached out to The Sapphire. A spokesperson emailed the following statement:

The safety and well-being of our residents is our top priority. We immediately responded when issues with the HVAC system arose and are deploying all resources to get it fixed.

Although HVAC vendors are extremely busy, we secured a vendor to begin work on the boiler. The parts are on order and we are working to fix as quickly as possible. Residents have been provided temporary heating systems.

We continue to be responsive to our residents and will keep them updated on our progress. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

- The Sapphire