DENVER -- A Denver woman came home from the hospital to discover an outrageous rental situation involving her apartment: The manager let someone else live there while she was gone.
Rita Peck wanted to come home and get her strength back. She spent most of the summer in the hospital.
"I was coming home to recover from my surgery," she said.
Instead, she found out — to her horror — the apartment manager let someone else stay in her home.
"He sat on my couch, watched my TV, took my food, slept on my bed, sat down on my toilet seat and his shaving stuff was in my medicine cabinet," Peck said. "I felt so violated."
Neighbors said the man lived in her apartment for days.
"I moved him in there to clean the place up," manager Ralph Wade said.
He claimed it was just one night but admits he did not have Peck's permission to let someone into her apartment.
FOX31 Denver's Julie Hayden mentioned the manager didn't have the right to let someone else into the woman's apartment during a conversation with him.
"No, that's trespassing. I had no part of any theft. ... Trespassing, fine, I'll take to charge for that," Wade said.
To make things worse, Peck said someone stole her medical equipment, costly prescription medications, appliances and the clothes from her closet.
"It's wrong in so many ways," said Jose Cordova, Peck's home caregiver before and after the surgery.
He said someone even stole her laundry basket.
"Her hamper now is a box. A regular box," Cordova said.
It's important for tenants to read the lease all the way through so you understand your rights.
"With the Denver market being what it is, your lowest level rat landlord is going to come scurrying out," attorney Claudia Abernethy said.
Peck just wishes she could afford to move to a new place.
"I have this knot in my stomach that everything I touch, he touched," she said.