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Residents at Dwell Tallahassee still in the dark one week later

Residents at Dwell Tallahassee still in the dark one week later

By: Mariel Carbone | Eyewitness News

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — According to tenants, a majority of power has been restored to building 27 of the Dwell Tallahassee Student Living apartments.

However, residents are still frustrated after spending more than a week in the dark, and more than two weeks without air conditioning.

"It’s like a mix of emotions right now because we’ve been going for so long without it, so it’s really relieving to have it back. But, it’s still very angering about how long it took,” said tenant Sara Kuba.

Kuba said most of her power has returned, however certain rooms, like the bathroom, and some light fixtures have not. She said her and her roommates noticed it was working again after their ceiling fan and Wi-Fi turned back on.

According to residents at the complex, the outage started when the fire alarm control panel caught on fire, and the city turned off the power manually so the part could be restored.

Management sent a message to residents Tuesday afternoon. In it, the complex apologized for the delay, and said that the part was held up in transport because of the Easter holiday. However, even after its installation, some residents came home with things still off.

The latest update noted that power should be restored to all buildings except the unit where the fire occurred. The city had turn off the power again manually on Wednesday to allow for more work to be done.

"There hasn’t really been a calm moment yet, juggling everything and trying to cope,” said Kuba.

"Well it’s wrong,” said Alice Vickers, Director and Attorney for the Florida Alliance for Consumer Protection. "No one should have to exist in that kind of environment."

Vickers said under state law landlords must maintain the unit up to local codes. If they don’t and are not making reasonable efforts to fix the issues, residents can terminate the lease or withhold pay. She cautioned that students living in student complexes should read their leases carefully before signing.

"See what it is a landlord must provide, what it is they can and cannot do. They can’t change Florida law, but they can add a lot of aspects that are not a part of the law,” she said.

Despite the slow return of power, Kuba said she is not taking down signs she has posted to her windows just yet. They read, “15 days without AC, 8 days without power.”

"We’re not just going to be thankful for them fixing our power because it took such an extended amount of time. And we want them to remember that," said Kuba.

The complex is owned by Trinity Housing. We’ve left several messages requesting comment, but have not heard back.

Alicia Turner | WCTV Eyewitness News
April 4, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Residents at a Tallahassee apartment complex are now speaking out after spending more than a week in the dark.

Dwell Tallahassee Student Living apartment complex is located on Pensacola Street. The City of Tallahassee restored power Tuesday afternoon, but some folks living there are still without access to a number of essentials. Many of them say they’re simply fed up.

“15 days without AC, 8 days without power.” That’s what a sign reads posted in the window of Sara Kuba’s apartment.

"I feel like living here you think it can’t get any worse, and then it does. It’s really frustrating," Sara said.

She and close to 100 other residents in building 27 have spent the last week without power. Residents told WCTV the outage started when the fire alarm control panel caught on fire, and the city turned off the power manually so the part could be restored.

"It’s been so rough. I can’t take warm showers. I’m sitting in the dark. I can’t do online work. I can’t cook. I can’t do laundry,” Brittany Stack said as she explained the last few days at home.

Management sent a message to residents Tuesday afternoon. In it, the complex apologized for the delay, and said that the part was held up in transport because of the Easter holiday. However, even after its installation, some residents came home with things still off.

"You’re better off living in your car. There’s no air condition. There’s nothing in here but heat and burnt wires and spoiled food," said Laporsha Coston, a Dwell resident.

Bags of trash now line some of the halls, the scent of rotten food seeping through.

"I went grocery shopping right before this happened, and I had to throw them all away,” Brittany said.

Laporsha added, "I threw away two trash bags full of food."

Some residents suggested that because they’re students, that’s one of the reasons it took so long for power to be restored.

"Us all being college students, they definitely take advantage of that; and don’t take us as serious as they should," Sara explained.

"How do you expect us to live somewhere that we’re not safe in," said Laporsha.

Brittany added, "They should take into consideration that this isn’t retail, this is where people live.”

A life these students say has been put on hold while they wait for the bare necessities.

The residents did tell Eyewitness News that some people were offered vacant apartments until those filled up.

The complex is owned by Trinity Housing. We’ve left several messages hoping to get some answers as to why the power is still off, but we have not heard back from them.

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