Editor’s Note: This article has been updated. The spelling of a resident’s name was corrected.
ARLINGTON, Va. (DC News Now) — Many temperature-controlled apartments across the DMV typically don’t offer air conditioning until May, due to state laws requiring landlords to provide heat until then, but tenants continue to bemoan the laws with unseasonably warm temperatures outside.
“I’ll just chug ice water all day long and get through it,” said Ziyu Zhou, a resident of the Riverhouse Apartments in Arlington, Virginia.
“The end of April has become my least favorite month of the year… You know, 20 days of brutal heating in my unit,” she told DC News Now after opting to wear a tank top at home during work calls over Zoom Wednesday due to rising apartment temperatures.
Kip McGuire, who is also a tenant at the apartment complex, opted for an outfit change, saying, “As you can tell, shorts and a t-shirt in order to kind of bear with it.”
“I work from home so it can get a little frustrating sitting at your desk, trying to work your day job and it’s 80 degrees in your room,” said McGuire.
Property management recently emailed tenants an explanation, pointing to Virginia law requiring landlords to offer heat until approximately May 1, adding that their temperature system can only provide heat or AC at one time.
A similar issue is why Tuly Stern, a resident of D.C.’s Adam’s Morgan neighborhood, started an online petition to find a change.
“It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to make a policy surrounding temperature around a date,” Stern told DC News Now Tuesday. “If this is a policy that relates to temperature and weather, and temperature regulation it should revolve around the temperature and the weather.”
Tenants are finding ways to cool down thanks to tower and circulator fans, typically cheaper than portable air conditioning units.
However, consumers can shop around to find ways to stretch their dollars and stay cool indoors.
Major retailers offering discounts to help include Home Depot, which promoted 30% off select fans Thursday via Slick Deals.
Wayfair offered a ‘cooling sale’ on products from tower fans, to mountable models.
Eligible households with heating or cooling emergencies can contact their states’ respective Home Energy Assistance Programs (HEAP); AC units may be offered.