Denver residential complex tenants say they went without heat for days

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DENVER — In the middle of a Colorado cold snap, dozens of tenants at a southeast Denver residential complex say they were left without heat for days. They turned to the FOX31 Problem Solvers for help.

As of Monday morning, the heat and boiler system was working again at The Artisan off of East Girard Avenue.

“Our house was sitting at 50 degrees,” tenant Stacie Johnson said.

As a powerful cold front blasted the Mile High City last Thursday and again this weekend, Johnson and her husband say they have been without heat.

“I’ve had to buy five space heaters — for every bedroom and rooms in the house,” Johnson said.

The Johnsons said they started putting in requests to management to fix the heat last week.

“I’ve called them about 30 times a day starting on Thursday,” Johnson said.

They are also concerned about keeping their two bearded dragons warm enough. The property manager told FOX31 their maintenance crew dropped off 76 space heaters to the affected apartments. But Johnson said that only made matters worse.

“Every time we turn on the space heaters, the breakers are blowing. So, I’ve been up every night,” she said.

As the Problem Solvers were inside Johnson’s townhome on Monday, the maintenance crew showed up to fix the very thing at the center of our interview.

“We’re now blowing at 102 degrees,” one maintenance worker said.

“They’re over here now because I just called the office again this morning and said, ‘Now I’ve called the news and now I’m doing something about this because this is not fair’,” Johnson said.

The Problem Solvers went into the front office to see what went wrong with the heating system.

FOX31: “Some of the tenants said they’ve been without heat for four days and that’s unacceptable.”

The property manager denies the maintenance request being open for four days. He said two boiler pumps broke and the supply house was not open over the weekend. He said his maintenance crew dropped off space heaters until the parts arrived on Monday.

The Johnsons worry this may be shaping up to be a long winter.

“How long before it goes out again? How long before I don’t have heat again?” Johnson said.

Under Colorado law, landlords are required to provide heat for their tenants. If the heat is not back on in a reasonable amount of time and tenants have submitted written request, they can withhold rent under certain circumstances. More information on renters’ rights can be found here.

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