DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) – The temperature dropped in Danville Sunday night, the same day one family’s furnace broke. Even though it was fixed Monday morning, they still want to take legal action against their landlord. Andria Venable says she’s had nothing but issues from her property management company, and she wants to see change – so other people don’t have to go through the same.
“My niece, she was like, ‘mommy, I’m cold. And my sister’s like, ‘I’m sorry baby, what can I do?’ And I feel bad because this is our home,” Andria Venable said.
Venable said she could see her breath in her own home. The thermostat showed 54 degrees when she woke up Monday morning, and her house was just starting to warm up by the evening.
“Sorry I’m still shaking, it’s cold,” Venable said. “They should’ve at least done something.”
Venable and her family rent a house from RC Management in Danville. She said she called maintenance around noon on Sunday when she first realized the blower motor in her furnace was broken.
“So he came over, looked at it, and he’s like, ‘well try to have a nice night,’” she said.
“If the blower motor was out, he wouldn’t be able to get that new blower motor until this morning when the supplier opened,” RC Management office manager Brian Potts said.
Even though maintenance crews fixed the heat in the morning, Venable said the company offered her no alternative overnight.
“Sometimes that contractor will leave heaters with them. He’s got several that he loans out for these types of situations, so I’m kind of surprised that he didn’t leave her some. Nobody had requested any of those from us,” Potts said.
Venable also complained about a burning smell she said the company wrote off as drywall and dust in the vents.
“Come to find out it was a wire in the fuse box that had melted,” Venable said.
When she moved in, Venable said she complained about cracked floors in her laundry room.
“Got onto them immediately when we moved in. Four months later, they fixed it. And only when I said, ‘if my niece falls through this floor, you’re going to have a lot more than rent to worry about,” she said.
So, why stay? Venable said it’s hard to find places that fit her budget in Danville that aren’t owned by RC Management, and she doesn’t want to move away from her doctors.
“I have two disabled people in this home. I’m disabled myself but I don’t receive benefits,” Venable said. “Where else can you go?”
But, she doesn’t blame RC Management’s maintenance staff.
“They’re working their men to the bone. One of their maintenance men is very sweet with us, and he’s like, ‘I’m non-stop.’ He just can’t keep up,” Venable said.
Upon being asked whether he’d like to address frustrated tenants considering legal action, Potts made this statement: “We’ve got a lot of older homes over here. When maintenance requests come through, we try to address them as quickly as we can. Obviously, we try to get the more emergent ones first – so if there’s water leaking or heat issues in the wintertime, that stuff is going to take precedence. We try to be out there within 24-48 hours as much as we can, barring something unforeseen.”
Venable said she and other tenants are still planning to involve the Attorney General.