Abu Dhabi: Due to a failure in the central air-conditioning system, residents of a building in the capital have been suffering in the summer heat for more than two weeks.
While many tenants are shelling out extra money to stay at hotels, others have invested in portable air conditioners to cool down their sweltering apartments.
“I have been staying in my current apartment for about a year, and the air conditioning has failed a number of times during this period. When it happened in April, the workmen who fixed the faulty parts said that the building’s chillers were old and needed to be replaced,” Raghuraj Kuruppath, 53, an accountant from India, told Gulf News.
“The landlord however has not paid heed to this, and now we are being forced to find alternative accommodation, which is an additional cost over the rent,” he added. Kuruppath pays Dh55,000 a year for his two-bedroom apartment.
When the air conditioning stopped working, the tenant and his family had initially stayed at a hotel for six days until they received word that the system had been repaired.
“So, we moved back, only to find that the air conditioner failed again later that day. My wife, son and I are now making do with a portable cooler and some fans in the living room, but it is very difficult to cook in the kitchen or even be comfortable in these conditions,” Kuruppath complained.
The building, the Moza Mohammad Saleh Al Suweidi building, is located on Shaikh Zayed Street. It consists of about 30 apartments, and tenants say that the building is more than 20 years old.
The situation appears to be even more difficult for tenants with small children.
I.Q., a sales manager from India, said his sons aged one and three, had developed severe rashes due to the heat.
“Although I am paying Dh75,000 for the three-bedroom apartment, my family and I have now been forced to seek accommodation at a hotel apartment. The heat is unbearable, and now Ramadan has begun and we are fasting,” he said.
I.Q. said that the air conditioning had previously broken down in winter.
“If the system is old, it should be replaced instead of letting tenants suffer,” he added.
When contacted by Gulf News, the manager of the company that handles the building said work was under way to repair the cooling system, and a spare part had been replaced on June 25. She however declined to give a specific time for when the air conditioning would be operational. Tenants reported that the system was still not working at the time of going to print.
As Gulf News reported earlier this month, according to the law, it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that their buildings provide uninterrupted utilities, including electricity, water and air conditioning. In case of failure, it is the landlord’s legal responsibility to reinstate these utilities without delay, and tenants can approach the Rent Dispute Resettlement Committee in Abu Dhabi to lodge their complaints.