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3 On Your Side: Landlord Waives Rent For Residents With No Heat Due To Sandy

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By Robin Rieger

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) – Mary Jane Kutch has radiators for heat in her Chelsea Village Apartment in Atlantic City but is relying on the steam from boiling water on her gas stove to keep her warm.

The complexes boiler room and electrical breakers were flooded by Hurricane Sandy.

“We don’t have electric and we don’t have heat,” said Kutch.

Management says none of the 261 apartments here have heat. 70 percent have electric back and we found some are sharing it with others.

The 3 bedroom apartment Kutch shares with roommates is cold; coats are a must.

“All of my roommates and me, we sleep in the living room so it’s a little bit warmer,” Kutch said.

Kutch called Eyewitness News because their $1,225 a month rent, that includes heat, was due. She says management told her the entire amount was still due, despite ten days without any warmth.

She didn’t think that was fair.

“We’re gonna pay if we really have to pay but we’re not getting the utilities that comes with the rent,” she said.

Eyewitness News called the property manager to inquire about the issue; Kutch and her roommate got a different answer after that.

“She was so nice and everything, she was telling us we’re not going to charge you for rent,” said Kutch’s roommate Milagros Lovaton.

“Now we have an answer. It’s because of you guys thank you so much for your help,” Kutch said, relieved.

Beacon management, that manages then Chelsea Village Apartments, says they are working around the clock and doing all that they can after this unprecedented storm to restore heat as quickly as possible. Beacon management says they know this has been a hardship to their tenants so they will not be charging them rent for the time they have been without heat.

The company has ordered mobile boilers and generators to provide heat until the boilers are replaced but says there is a major shortage which is delaying the process. They hope to start restoring heat this weekend.