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Arvada condo owner in limbo after he says HOA dragging feet in fire damage repair

Posted at 9:50 AM, Aug 20, 2023

ARVADA, Colo. — An Arvada homeowner had to move out of his newly purchased condo only 10 days after buying it because a fire spread to his unit. Now, nearly 16 months later, he is fed up over the lack of progress his homeowners association has had in making the necessary repairs to the building.

A reminder is taped to Ted Bauer's door at the Mountain Vista Village Condos, it says "Habitable, Repairs Necessary" and is dated April 29, 2022. That's the day a fire moved from a unit next door and into his. It burned in the attic and damaged his condo.

The sign has stayed taped to his door for the last 16 months, the same amount of time he's been out of his condo. His insurance has paid for his housing since then. Much of that time was spent living in hotels.

"You open the door, there's two beds, a sink, a toilet, a shower, and a coffeemaker. Try living like that. You can't," said Bauer.

He's been frustrated at the lack of progress that's been made at his condo. He acknowledges the HOA has put in a new ceiling of plywood and other minimal updates, but the condo is far from move-in ready.

"Every day that goes by, nothing happens ever. I come here every day, get my mail, I come in, I look around--nothing," said Bauer.

He said he learned the hard way, that owning a condominium comes with limitations.

Condo owner frustrated at lack of progress of repairs nearly 16 months after fire spread to and damaged home

"You only own what you see, the space. You do not own that floor. You do not own that wall, that wall, that ceiling. You own nothing. You just own the space. The HOA owns all this. I didn't know that at the time," said Bauer.

He's been waiting on the HOA and their insurance adjuster to make moves on the repairs to his home. He was not able to spend one month in it.

"I bought it April 1, 2022. I paid $300,000 cash to own this. On April 29, I was living in a hotel," he said.

He said the contract with his insurance to cover his current housing is running out in a few months, and he's been hitting a wall to find out when he can plan to move back in.

Denver7 reached out to MSI HOA. They told us Bauer's unit is part of a larger-scale insurance claim due to that fire, but they did not send a timeline for repairs.

As the clock ticks down for Bauer, he's hoping those repairs start as soon as possible.

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