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A/C problems at rental property for students in Waterloo

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Residents of an upscale rental property for students in Waterloo are struggling to sleep at night because the air conditioning to the rooms is not working.

According to some residents at Rez-One Blair House, the A/C was supposed to be turned on about a month ago, but nothing has happened.

“It's just been really hot,” said Anna, a resident in the building. “They've been sending us emails that it's under repair. Every time we try to ask them when it'll be fixed by, they can't give us an answer.”

Rez-One has not responded to CTV News' requests for comment. But in an email sent last Thursday, it told residents something was wrong with the chiller’s computer chip.

The email said a contractor arrived to initiate a switchover, but discovered the computer chip was malfunctioning. Rez-One told residents without a replacement computer chip, the AC wont work, and it is not sure when that will be done.

“I emailed them about a possible rate reduction, or reimbursements for the fan I'm going to buy, but they just ghosted me,” Jeff Xu, another resident in the building said.

The building mostly houses students from the University of Waterloo, who have been struggling with the heat while trying to study for finals.

“Yesterday, I had an 8:30 class. I couldn't sleep until six in the morning, because I was just sweating. So I didn't go to the class,” Xu said.

When he does get to class, Xu said it’s better than being at home.

“I just stay on campus all day because there's A/C. I come back just to sleep,” Xu said.

The main lobby and gym have working air conditioning.

Xu now brings any food he makes in his room down to the lobby to eat. Some residents said they’ve seen some people sleeping on the main floor at night.

“Honestly, I don't blame them because I slept on my friend's couch yesterday because it was so hot,” Anna said.

Residents pay over $1,000 per room, around $4,000 per unit. Anna’s rental agreement shows A/C is included.

“It's just really sad because we pay so much on rent," she said. “I just hope it gets fixed. It's so hot.”

Xu has kept his thermostat at 16 degrees for weeks, but said it’s just decoration right now. He will be leaving for a co-op placement soon, but will be subletting the apartment during that time, meaning someone else will still be dealing with the heat.

“I just want it to be fixed so I can stay at home,” Xu said.

The City of Waterloo said it has received complaints about the air conditioning in the building and has been in contact with the property management company, who assures the contractors are waiting for a specific part. The city said it is also currently reviewing rental housing regulations to address emerging challenges and is exploring increased maintenance and safety standards for mid and high-rise buildings.

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