Hot water restored but still no AC as troubled apartment complex works to make repairs

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Managers of a troubled East Memphis apartment complex stood before a Shelby County Environmental Court judge Friday and gave an update on the repairs.

No air, no hot water, and plumbing issues. That’s what residents of the Serenity at Highland apartment complex have been dealing with for weeks now.

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“I don’t have nowhere else to go, so I had to pay my rent,” Lawrence Myers, who lives in the apartments said.

It’s been almost two weeks since Myers has been able to turn on his air conditioner.

MORE: Repeated delays in providing air conditioning leave Memphis apartment residents frustrated and hot

He lives on the eighth floor of the apartment tower.

“It was kind of rough, you know. But they did have some air down in the lobby, so you didn’t have to

stay miserable,” he said.

Representatives with the apartments say workers discovered a crack in the cooling system’s chiller unit on May 18.

Some residents told FOX13 they had to sleep outside due to the extreme heat.

MORE: People sleeping outside due to lack of air at Memphis apartments

They say they’ve also been dealing with no hot water and toilets backing up.

On Friday, managers of the complex told the judge progress had been made to fix the issues.

They say the hot water has been turned back on, and they’re waiting for parts to be delivered before they can install the new air conditioning tank.

READ MORE: ‘It’s inhumane’: Assistant DA uncovers deplorable conditions at local apartments with no AC

Shelby County Assistant D.A. Michael McCusker said he’s gotten multiple complaints from residents.

“We have met several residents out there that have oxygen they use for their health, and they’re sitting there in the heat using their oxygen trying to breath and it’s quite suffocating on the upper floors of that building,” McCusker said.

The court issued a $1,000 fine Wednesday against the property owners.

Though no additional fines were given Friday, officials with the city said they hope to see more.

“The city is going to request that the fines continue to come. We want to keep this pressure on them to get this done as quickly as possible,” a spokesman said.

MORE: Local lawmaker visits troubled apartment complex following FOX13 investigation

Representatives with the apartments said Serenity has set up a cooling area in their lobby with cooling units and fans.

They say they are also performing wellness checks on their residents.

Representatives with the apartments are due back in court next Tuesday for another compliance hearing.