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Tenants in Denver apartment building without running water for days

Welton Park Apartments management says a burst pipe is to blame.
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Posted at 5:54 PM, Mar 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-07 20:24:31-05

DENVER — People who live in an apartment building in Denver's Five Points neighborhood have been without water for several days.

Tenants at Welton Park Apartments, located at Welton Street and Park Avenue, have grown frustrated with each passing day.

"It's exhausting. It's literally one of the most exhausting things I’ve ever dealt with,” said Charlotte Cornish, who has lived in the apartments for about two years.

Residents can't wash dishes, take showers, or even use the bathroom in their own apartments. Instead, they have to use one of the portable restrooms that were brought in by apartment management. To take showers, they must go to a neighboring building, which is also part of the same apartment complex. Tenants have also been using an outdoor water hose at the neighboring building to fill up buckets or jugs of water to bring back to their apartments.

"We need our water. We can't be living out of porta-potties and a hose out back for the rest of the month,” said Cornish.

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Tenants showed Denver7 emails sent from apartment management, explaining that a leak caused the water to be shut off in the building. Management initially promised the repairs would be made earlier in the week, but ran into more issues while making repairs, causing further delays.

Cornish doesn’t blame local management but expected more from the apartment’s corporate owner, Greystar.

"I know the managers have been working as hard as they can to get this done, but they can only do so much,” said Cornish. “I would like Greystar to take a little bit more consideration into the people that are living here, especially those people that are disabled, those people that have kids.”

Other tenants Denver7 spoke to said they also don’t blame the local apartment manager. But like Cornish, they’re frustrated with Greystar, which is the largest property management operator in the United States with over 822,000 units, according to its website.

Rebecca Cohn, an attorney with the Community Economic Defense Project, which provides legal resources to tenants, said under Colorado’s Warranty of Habitability Law, landlords must begin making repairs after tenants notify them about a problem in writing.

"It sounds like this landlord knows that this condition is going on,” said Cohn. "One problem though is that the current law doesn't actually require the landlord to complete those repairs, which is something our organization is trying to fix with some new legislation that's moving forward at the state Capitol.”

Tenants in Denver apartment building without running water for days

In a statement to Denver7, Welton Park Apartments management said they are helping residents and providing them with a reduction in rent.

“Unfortunately, a pipe burst has caused some interruptions in water service while the repairs are being made. We have provided options and help to the impacted residents which includes a monetary concession. We anticipate the repairs to be complete and to restore water this evening (Thursday). We apologize for any inconvenience to our residents,” the statement said.

"This should not be an issue that takes multiple days to fix,” Cornish said.

Cohn said if you have questions about your rights as a tenant, reach out to an attorney.

“The way the law is written right now, it is a bit difficult for tenants to enforce their rights because they have to jump through a number of procedural hoops, but an attorney would be able to guide them through that process,” said Cohn.

Cohn said the Community Economic Defense Project provides free legal advice and representation to qualifying low-income renters.

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