DURHAM, N.C. -- Some McDougald Terrace tenants tell Spectrum News they’re considering legal action regarding the carbon monoxide crisis, although no concrete plans are in motion yet.
- The DHA continues to check the housing complex after evacuating hundreds of tenants
- They expect tenants to remain displaced for the next several days but hope to have a better timeline on Thursday
- As of Sunday night, they found 133 stoves, 35 furnaces, and 34 hot water furnaces faulty
“I think it’s a sad situation,” says Phyliss Craig-Taylor, a professor at NCCU School of Law.
He says it’s the law that Durham Housing Authority provides safe housing, and that requirement could give tenants the right to sue.
“…The conditions of the premises have to meet the housing code. They have to meet the public health code,” Craig-Taylor adds.
The DHA continues to check the housing complex after evacuating hundreds of tenants. Officials say they found more than 80 units with unhealthy carbon monoxide levels, mainly due to broken appliances. They expect tenants to remain displaced for the next several days but hope to have a better timeline on Thursday.
However, Craig-Taylor believes tenants shouldn’t expect substantial financial payout. She says courts usually allow landlords to fix the problems first.
“Usually, this is a fix. So the landlord has an opportunity to repair,” she says.
She also advises tenants to document every incident and keep all related paperwork if they’re planning to take any legal action.
On Monday, the Durham Housing Authority gave an update on inspections. They say crews will finish inspecting the remaining 100 units Monday night.
As of Sunday night, they found 133 stoves, 35 furnaces, and 34 hot water furnaces faulty. CEO Anthony Scott says many appliances are old, and crews will be able to replace them easily. He says the whole ordeal has cost DHA $485,000 and hopes the federal government will reimburse them.