Albuquerque apartment residents without water over Thanksgiving weekend

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Was running water something you were thankful for over the holiday? Unfortunately, folks living in a northeast heights apartment complex can’t say the same. They haven’t had any for five days now.

A handful of tenants decided to moved out because their apartments flooded. But those who have stayed say property management not only left them without water – but also left them in the dark of when this is going to get fixed.

All Treehouse tenants got an email from management last Wednesday saying they will temporarily be shutting off water because of a leak. But tenants say the problems started long before the email was sent.

“I woke up Wednesday morning around 5:30 I went to take a shower, there was no water at all. Then around noon that day we got an email that said it was from our community manager saying the water was off for the time being,” said Skyler Bardon, tenant.

Wednesday came and went, so did Thursday and Friday, then the weekend. Now on Monday:

“This one hasn’t worked for almost a week now this one worked for two days but now does nothing,” Bardon said turning her sink faucets in vain. But it’s not just the kitchen.

“Same thing bathroom sinks,” Bardon said as she walked over to the bathtub. “And here is the shower, absolutely nothing. No water anywhere.”

Bardon lives on the top floor of her building at Treehouse Apartments. While she hasn’t had any water, her downstairs neighbors have had too much and not enough all at the same time

“It’s just been this noise constantly,” first floor tenant Judith Sanders said as she adjusted one of the two industrial-sized fans in her apartment. “Just this for five days.”

Wednesday morning her apartment flooded. Then shortly after they turned the water off. But the damage has been done.

“I was volunteering at the senior center when it happened but when I came home to this mess I ran to the management office and the lady working said ‘we couldn’t get into my apartment. I said ‘what do you mean you couldn’t get into my apartment?” She said ‘we couldn’t find the master keys,’” Sanders recalled. “Now that was the beginning of this whole thing and I think that is total incompetence.”

Back upstairs, Skyler Bardon, said she has called maintenance at least 20 times in the last five days, but she has never heard back.

“I want an apology from our regional manager who has been ignoring all of our calls and emails. I want an apology from our community manager, I want an apology from everyone who is responsible for this, because I think leaving people without water is inhumane and doing it during a holiday weekend is even worse,” Bardon said.

We also tried reaching out, also with no luck. But Sanders says she wants more than an apology.

“Thinking of how long we have gone without hot water and how upset I was, I decided why don’t we do a petition asking for something to be given to us,” Sanders said

She went door to door asking neighbors to sign the petition asking management for reduced rent next month.

“I didn’t even know a lot of those people but when I showed them the petition I typed not one of them said no. They all signed it, they are all as upset as I am,” Sanders said

But no luck getting that petition to management.  A sign on the office door says it’s supposed to be open Monday, but it was closed.

Sanders says at this point she’s just going to get more signatures until she can turn in the petition – because she doesn’t know what else to do.

Now, under New Mexico statutes, a landlord must supply running water and a reasonable amount of hot water at all times, unless the tenant is responsible for the water bill. Once the notice is given by the landlords saying they are turning off the water the clock starts ticking, and if the problem isn’t fixed within seven days, then the tenant could move out with no penalty and the rental agreement is terminated.