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Denver 'luxury' apartment with major issues requiring non-disparagement agreement to end lease

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Posted at 8:19 PM, Jan 19, 2022

DENVER — Tenants have been flocking out of the Grand Apartments in downtown Denver amid several major issues and repairs that have made their stay feel like everything but grand.

The property markets itself as upscale and luxurious, but instances of flooding and black mold in multiple units, health code violations and complaints from tenants about management and living conditions paint a very different picture of the Grand Apartments.

Following Denver7's story about the property in December, city inspectors ordered the apartment complex to fix multiple issues after deeming the property has failed "to maintain building in a safe and sanitary condition," according to a complaint provided by the city's community and development department.

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Order to Comply

When Denver7 showed up to the Grand with cameras rolling on Dec. 3, the property's management team sent a message to all tenants notifying them they can terminate their lease without penalty because of the on-going issues.

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Tenants like Anthony Tori took the opportunity.

"I thought, 'OK, this kind of works out because I'm moving to my new apartment before the holiday. I'll come back from break to my brand new apartment. New year, new place, no more Grand,'" Tori said.

According to Tori, management agreed to a move-out date, and he'd soon be out of the door for good.

But, there was a grand catch.

"I think it was about a week after, I got a call from [a Grand employee] saying that, 'You need to sign this document,'" Tori said.

It was a four-page lease termination document that included both a non-disparagement and non-disclosure clause, which would not allow Tori to say anything negative about the property, not even an online review or negative comment on social media.

When Tori pushed back via email, an apartment staff member notified him of the consequences to not signing it.

"Every day the document is not signed you will be subject to an additional day of prorated rent, at the month to month, as we cannot move you out of the billing system without that form signed or a lease break," the email says.

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Tori said he continued to push management about the matter until they gave up and allowed him to leave without signing it, but many current and former tenants confirmed they were not let off the hook.

Sarah Culler, a Grand Apartments spokeswoman, issued a statement Wednesday about the lease termination document that says, in part, "residents who elected to terminate early signed a standard form resident lease termination. The language that references non-disclosure has since been removed." 

That clause was only removed after Denver7 reached out, but nothing regarding the non-disparagement clause was addressed in the statement. A follow-up request for clarification was not addressed by the time of publication.

However, Denver7 obtained a copy of the most recent lease termination document after the story aired and the non-disparagement clause is still in the document.

Long-term tenant or not, every resident will have to leave their unit around springtime of 2022 due to repair work, according to a message sent to all tenants on Dec. 30.

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