2 months with no heat at Aurora condo: Problem Solvers

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AURORA, Colo. -- An Aurora condominium is ringing in the New Year without heat. In fact, the Cedar Crest Condominiums at 12245 E. 14th Avenue haven’t had central heat since at least October 26.

That’s when the city of Aurora received its first complaint from residents who are still no closer to having their heat restored.

“You don`t think they`re going to let you go through the hardest part of the winter in freezing conditions,” said Jennifer Bailey who rents a second floor unit for $700.00 a month.

The 59-year-old tenant says she hasn’t been able to reach her landlord who lives in Costa Rica but has unilaterally reduced her rent.

“I took $150.00 off so I only pay $550.00 out of the $700.00. I will continue to pay that until there’s no need for heat anymore so if that’s March, April, May, rent’s cut,” said Bailey.

Her upstairs neighbors, Sara and Michael Nelson, tell FOX31 Denver they’re still paying their full rent even though their bedroom is too cold to use.

“Like you’re in Alaska somewhere,” is how Michael Nelson describes the cold in his bedroom. He turns his oven on and leaves the door open to provide extra heat.

The president of the homeowner’s association, Judith Lorraine, said the problem began when a new boiler was installed. “It blew out the pipes somewhere underneath the building,” said the 74-year-old who owns one unit in the complex.

Lorraine said the first bid to fix the pipes was $120,000 dollars. But she said getting the various owners to cough up a special assessment of $2,600 dollars for each of the 47 units met with a chilly reception, “We have owners that own the biggest part of the building that refuse to do that. They say they`ll pay their share when they sell in 10 or 20 years and that doesn`t help us today. We need the money today.”

The city of Aurora says its giving owners a 30-day warning that it plans to inspect the building as one giant code violation.

In a statement the city says it “hopes that the inspection process will lead the property owners to come together to address the repairs that need to be made in the best interests of the residents."

HOA president Judith Lorraine has hired an attorney hoping to force a special assessment on her fellow owners to pay up but that could take months.