Montgomery County Bill Would Require Working Air Conditioning in All Rental Units

Amid a blistering heat wave, a council member in Montgomery County, Maryland, has proposed that all landlords should provide air conditioning for their tenants.

Councilman Tom Hucker introduced a bill Tuesday to make working air conditioning a requirement for all rental units in the county.

"On days like today, this is really a life or death issue it’s not a comfort issue," Hucker said Wednesday.

The heat index broke 100 degrees by Wednesday afternoon. Those dangerous temperatures can cause heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death, officials say.

News4 crews saw a woman passed out from heat exhaustion at the Charter House, an apartment community for seniors in Silver Spring. Other residents stood around her fanning her to try to cool her off.

Residents said the air conditioning in the building has not been working properly.

"She got too hot and no water to drink and we didn’t have no water to give her because the water faucet was out," resident Ella Cassidy said.

Fire and rescue officials said the heat likely exacerbated a preexisting condition.

Cassidy and her husband, Allen Cassidy, are in their 70s and have lived at the Charter House for years. They say lately their air conditioning unit hasn't worked.

"It’s not on cause if it were on you would hear it," Allen Cassidy said.

After just 15 minutes inside their apartment, the News4 crew also began to sweat.

A spokesperson for the building said crews were working on fixing the issues with the air conditioning.

Hucker's proposal in its beginning stages and a final vote to pass the bill would come in the fall.

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