Monaco Arms Apartments residents claim they are being billed for gas they don’t use due to a gas leak.
JACKSONVILLE, Florida. Residents of the Northside apartment complex say they live in dangerous conditions and are afraid that someone will get hurt.
They claim propane tanks on the property are leaking and that neither the gas company nor the apartment complex is fixing the problem.
There are still charred marks on the ground and fence of the Monaco Arms Apartments playground after the children set off fireworks on July 4th. This fire nearly reached above ground propane tanks just a few feet away from several apartments.
Monaco Arms Apartments resident Jonathan Keller says the tanks are leaking.
“I’m very concerned because it’s a fire hazard,” Keller said. “The other day the kids were playing here and set the park on fire and the fire actually reached the propane tank.”
AmeriGas provides tanks and gas. Their team, as well as inspectors from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Human Services, arrived at the complex on Thursday to inspect all of the tanks on site.
Large gas cylinders behind the apartment are one problem, and gas meters in front of the apartment are a separate issue. One resident, who chose not to be on camera, told First Coast News that she often smells and tastes gas in her apartment because, she says, those meters are also leaking.
Residents say AmeriGas continues to charge them despite calls complaining about a gas leak. Keller’s latest gas bill is over $1,700, not even the highest bill among residents.
“They’ve always been outlandish,” Keller said of the gas bill. “From the moment I moved here I found it strange and I thought it was just me. And after talking to the locals, that’s when I decided there was a problem.”
Keller is working with the Jacksonville area’s legal assistance to get the complex to make repairs. He also organized a petition among the residents of the complex in the hope that the city council would take action.
“It’s actually a good thing, because you can’t make enough noise alone to move something,” says fellow resident Daphine Goodridge. “If we come together and work on the problem together, it will really provide answers.”
When First Coast News contacted AmeriGas, the company said they were aware of the residents’ complaints and would work to address any potential issues.
Monaco Arms did not respond to a First Coast News request for comment.
Renters have several options if they feel they are being mistreated or forced to live in unsafe conditions.
Legal Aid in the Jacksonville area works on a range of issues related to tenants and landlords:
Here is background information about Florida Tenant and Landlord Law, which can be found on the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development also has sections on tenant rights.
The Florida Bar Association also advocates extensively for tenant rights.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Human Services has many propane tank rules and regulations, these rules can be read here.