No heat in apartment

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I have a question that needs an urgent reply.  I am doing this for someone my mother knows, so I don’t know all the particulars.  This woman apparently lives in a house that has been separated into apartments.  So, I am assuming she is renting from an individual.  It is very cold in Indiana right now and she has no heat.  She also says she only has one working electrical outlet.  I think she is using a big orange electrical extension cord to run to her bedroom for a space heater.

She has told the landlord and they won’t do anything about it. On a different note, they told her if she moves out she won’t get her deposit back because the guy they used to collect rent/deposits stole it, so they say, she would have to sue him.

I have looked on the internet a little, and the only advice I can find about the heat problem is to sue (in small claims court) and/or call a code enforcement officer to check the house (not sure what that accomplishes for her.  She needs something fast.  She cannot afford a lawyer, small claims court, etc., as she says after rent she only has $20 a week left.

Does anyone know if there is any other agency who has legal jurisdiction over renters/landlords that can help her?  She lives in Noblesville, Indiana, I think.

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Edited on: Saturday, October 13th, 2012 8:00 am
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