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Apartment management starts work to finally restore hot water for residents

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AURORA, Colo. -- Tenants at an Aurora apartment building were still waiting for hot water on Wednesday night, more than 11 days after it first began running cold.

The FOX31 Denver Problem Solvers are beginning to get answers and progress is being made with a series of problems.

“That’s why I finally contacted you because I had no place else to turn,” Georgene Zimmerman said in regards to the Problem Solvers investigation.

A day after the FOX31 investigation began, Aurora code enforcement made two trips to The Courtyards of Buckley, checking to see what managers with JRK Properties LLC were doing about the lack of hot water. Despite multiple requests for comment, managers will not respond to FOX31, but code enforcement tells us that a boiler replacement project looks to be on track for completion on Thursday.

“They tell code enforcement one thing, but they’re not telling everybody else anything,” Zimmerman said.

The lack of communication isn’t something new for Zimmerman. She has a list of work orders that she put in writing on April 30th.

“None of these issues have been addressed at all,” she said. “Both bathtub walls had what looks like black mold and that’s initialed by the leasing agent.”

A day after the Problem Solvers visited Zimmerman, Aurora code enforcement stopped by and made a copy of her list. According to Colorado law there is no set time for landlords to respond to maintenance requests, but when it comes to issues like water and mold, they can’t wait long.

“Especially because I have COPD,” Zimmerman said.

“What a reasonable time is going to be depends on how serious is the condition? How safe is it?” said Brandon Ceglian, an attorney specializing in landlord and tenant issues. “If you have a mold situation that’s causing respiratory problems, that’s an immediate action.”

Ceglian said the lack of hot water could also be grounds for legal action even though the problem is now being remedied.

“I do think that five to ten days without hot water is probably the extent of a reasonable time under the law,” Ceglian said.

Zimmerman thanked the Problem Solvers after learning more about her rights on Wednesday night.

“You’ve been the most help,” Zimmerman said. “Truly you have because nobody else has even talked to me.”

That finally began to change right before FOX31 left her apartment on Wednesday. Cameras caught a long awaited phone call Georgene received from management on behalf of the owner of The Courtyards at Buckley.

Apartment Manager: “He wants to rent you guys a hotel room.”

Zimmerman: “Oh really?”

Apartment Manager: “So if you want to get a hotel room go ahead and pay for it, bring us the receipt and we will reimburse you. Or we can deduct it off your rent. We all apologize for this inconvenience … Stay somewhere that’s nice enough to get hot water and maybe a pool, stuff like that.”

Zimmerman: “Hot water is all I want.”

Though she still has a long list of problems, Zimmerman said she’s glad they’re starting to be solved.

“I think this is only because they saw you here again,” she said. “Otherwise I don’t expect I would have heard from them. I really don’t.”

Zimmerman said she still intends to move out of her apartment as soon as she can and will look into her legal options following all the problems she has encountered.

It’s unclear if any of the other tenants impacted by the water problems were given the option to seek a hotel room.

If you are a renter and are looking for information about your rights, click here.