LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Tenants at Big Country Chateau are protesting again because some still don’t have gas.
The problem started back in September with a gas leak. The gas was shut off and the City of Little Rock cited the property manager for failing to maintain utilities. The property manager pleaded not guilty on October 14th and said gas would be restored later that week.
Another month passed and the gas was still off at some units. On October 28th, Josh Kahane who is the corporate counsel for the complex asked for more time to fix the issue.
His request was granted.
Many renters are getting concerned about heading into winter without heat.
“We are looking for snow and who wants to live in the snow without any heat,” said Marchia Townsend, Tenant.
Marchia Townsend is one of many renters who are protesting their living conditions at Big Country Chateau.
Standing alongside her is Damonche Phipps who has been living here for four years. Saturday, he printed out a big list of demands and taped them to the front office doors.
“We’ve been without gas since September and it’s been hard since getting colder by the day,” said Damonche Phipps, Tenant for four years.
Neighbors are now racing the clock, hoping to have heat before the first freeze.
“Temperature last night was dropped down cold and we had to literally go to the store and buy three more heaters,” said Phipps.
Phipps isn’t the only one who brought a space heater.
Charles Gatson says he bought a heater too but it doesn’t heat the entire apartment.
“I can’t even sleep in my bedroom because it’s cold,” said Charles Gatson, Tenants for six years.
On Monday, November 4th, Kahane was in court again and pleaded no contest. The judge gave the property management 30 days to fix the gas issue. During Monday’s court hearing Kahane spoke to people about three options. Move to another unit, move out or stay in their current unit without gas. Most of them decided to stay put.
“I would rather stay in my apartment without gas then move somewhere with rodents, mold and dirty floors,” said Phipps.
“I’ll be moved by Friday,” said Gatson.
Gatson is taking the opportunity to leave but not everyone can afford to move.
So they plan to keep marching until their gas is back on.
“It’s not fair and it’s not right, they want us to pay rent but you can’t accommodate me, so I just want to live right,” said Townsend.
There is no timeline for when the problem will be fixed.
The next court hearing is on December 16th.