Residents close door on cold apartment complex

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The time has come and gone for residents of a near north side apartment building to move out.

After living without heat for more than a month, a judge set a deadline for Wednesday for the residents to move out of the Glendower Apartment Building.

“Sometimes I feel like the Lord let things happen, you know make me stronger and wiser,” said James Shaw who was the last resident to move out.

He says when he moved in, the building wasn’t in the state of disrepair its in now. He also says he even fixed many of the problems himself.

“If it wasn’t for me this building would’ve been gone,” said Shaw.

And as of 5 p.m. Wednesday it was gone. A judge ordering everyone out after the owner failed to provide heat to the building. Heat is one of the basic utilities landlords must provide and maintain, the others are water and electricity.

If you’re having problems with either, attorney Clifford Rubenstein says make sure you bring attention to the problem.

“They need to give notice to the landlord as soon as it happens,” said Rubenstein who’s with Maurer, Rifkin and Hill based in Carmel.

He says the notice must be in writing, whether through a letter, email or text message.

“The biggest problem I find in people calling me is that they do a lot of this over the telephone,” said Rubenstein.

Rubenstein says the issue with the phone is there’s no paper trail.

Building problems must be fixed within a reasonable amount a time, with priority going towards heat and water problems.

But Indiana law does not allow a tenant to withhold rent regardless of the problem.

“Once you withhold rent you have defaulted as a tenant and the landlord can bring a case against you for eviction,” said Rubenstein.

Tenants however do have the power to move and bring a lawsuit against their landlord to recover damages, for things like moving expenses and security deposits. They can also pay for the fixes themselves and demand reimbursement.

If bringing the issue to the landlord doesn’t work, you can also contact your county’s Health Department.

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