Countless residents have wrestled with property management at the Cedar Run Apartments on S. Oneida Street through back-and-forth emails and phone calls looking for answers.
It all began when Building A of the complex had a small fire that led to asbestos contamination, which ran residents of the 62-unit complex out of their homes.
The good news is, those residents are now being notified of when they can go back inside the units and get their belongings.
However, residents are being given a time slot, which is a few hours and a date.
In an email sent to residents, the property stated they will not be able to use the elevator or the main stairwell where the fire happened since it has not been repaired yet.
The bad news is this also left many without a home and others with a financial burden.
Former residents of Building A, Lark Mathis and her wife Senia Bozova, were able to move into another unit in another building but only weeks after management asked them to leave.
During this time, they felt the Cedar Run Apartments treated the residents unfairly.
“They did not want to give us any compensation for the hotel rooms or any of the other expenses we had to make just to survive,” Mathis said.
Residents had been covered by the apartment to stay at a hotel through Dec. 19, but were left to figure out the rest of the month on their own.
She says with such short notice, she felt forced into signing a new lease with the apartment complex not having anywhere else to go.
“We didn’t have any money, I only get paid once a month and she’d gotten paid, we had no money…that’s why some people are living in their cars,” Mathis said.
The Cedar Run Apartments were built in 1970, with renovations occurring back in 2012, 2017 and some in 2019, according to some residents.
Real estate attorney, Eric Nesbitt says buildings built prior to 1981, should be assumed that asbestos exists, but residents had the right to get their belongings a while ago.
“Even if there is an unsafe condition and they can’t live there, they should have access to go get their personal items and if that is not happening that could give rise to a breach by the landlord or lease by just not adhering or complying with the term of the lease agreement regarding quiet enjoyment,” Nesbitt said.
Quiet enjoyment which essentially means a tenant has possession of the property and is welcome to come and go from the property without the landlord interfering.
He also added it depends on what terms and language are used on the lease.
CBS News Colorado reached out to the property manager for comment and has yet to hear back.
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment confirmed the Cedar Run property manager hired an asbestos consulting firm to assess the buildings.
Read More: Residents wrestle with property management about asbestos contamination after