Denver tenants sue landlords over ‘unfit’ living conditions

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DENVER (KDVR) — Fighting for their health and safety after months of living in unfit conditions, local tenants of a Denver apartment complex are suing its property management. Tenants told FOX31 on Thursday, they believe the lawsuit was a long time coming.

“I have personally witnessed cockroaches, elevator fires, people trapped in elevators, ceiling collapses, mold and water damage, and sewage in apartments,” said Brandon Smith, who has lived in Mint Urban Infinity since April. “When there are emergencies, maintenance does not pick up.”

Smith filed the lawsuit after discovering that he was not alone. He spoke with every tenant in his building who shared similar complaints.

Mint Urban Infinity is managed by Cardinal Group Management, now facing a civil class action lawsuit for “subjecting tenants to long-term living environments unfit for human habitation.”

“The landlord hasn’t kept their part of the bargain, it’s as simple as that. These tenants have paid their rent but Cardinal Group Management has not provided them with a safe, healthy place to live, as required by their lease contract and the law,” said Smith’s attorney Jason Legg. “We’re asking the Court to make it clear that tenants can break their leases penalty-free and to find that Cardinal Group Management isn’t entitled to keep and collect rent from these tenants when it’s not holding up its end of the contract.”

Among a slew of complaints, Smith said the worst situation tenants had to face this summer was a week without hot water and over a month with no air conditioning. Some tenants have even reported cracked walls and shaking floors. 

“Adding insult to injury, the landlord charges an early lease termination fee equal to two months rent, trapping these mostly low-income earners for the entirety of their lease terms at an apartment complex that’s best characterized as a slum,” said Legg.

“It’s crazy. They violate our lease, take our money, and don’t fix the issues, and then they want us to pay for breaking a lease,” said Smith. “Where is the line? Does Miami need to happen here for them to listen?”

FOX31 reached out to Cardinal Group Management and received the following response the morning after this story originally aired:

“At this time, we have not been served with any lawsuit and will not comment on impending litigation. We disagree with the attorney’s characterization of the property and of our company. If we receive a lawsuit, we will address the allegations and the case accordingly. “

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