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Three dozen tenants at The Lincoln on Speer Boulevard relying on space heaters after heat pump failures

Tenants want answers, rent credit
Ligia-Ioana Mensah's dog sleeps by space heater
Posted at 12:05 AM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 07:42:24-04

DENVER — There's nothing like a winter snow storm to make you appreciate your furnace. Just ask the more than three dozen renters at the Lincoln on Speer Boulevard apartment complex who have been without heat for more than two months.

Several of them reached out to Contact7 for help getting answers as to when the heat will be restored, and whether they'll get a break on their rent.

Resident Ligia-Ioana Mensah said the heat went out in February because of problems with a boiler.

She said the boiler was fixed, and then the big Presidents' Day weekend storm hit, plunging a great deal of the nation into a deep freeze.

Mensah said the heat went out again, but this time it affected heat pumps in individual apartments.

"It took nine phone calls to get an answer from someone," she said. "I heard they were giving out space heaters, but not to everyone. I didn't get a space heater until weeks later."

Mensah said the temperature in her apartment dipped down to 43 degrees during the "deep freeze."

"I put in two emergency requests because I was in my home literally freezing, and they kept saying they're going to work on it. It's been two months since that. I still don't have heat," she said.

Neighbor Kayliana Prioleau has the same issue.

"They didn't provide me with a space heater until last week," she said.

Space Heater

Prioleau said she received a call from the leasing office March 2.

"They were just like, 'Oh, we can only fix so many of these pumps at a time. I'm just calling to let you know that you're on the list, but know that it's going to take a while,'" she said.

"It's rough," Mensah said. "I'm from the south, from Atlanta, so I can't handle this cold. I pay over $2,000 a month and don't have heat. It's ridiculous."

It's not just lack of heat that's an issue.

Tenants say the water was shut off from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday for repairs, which they say is a frequent occurrence.

Liz Harohopis said it's annoying in more ways than one.

"It's constantly being shut off and when they turn it back on, we don't have hot water for about 24 hours," she said.

Late Wednesday, a spokesman for the property management company, Urban American, sent a statement to Denver7 saying: “We are fully aware of the situation and repairs are underway. We understand the frustration of our residents during this time and hope to complete the replacement of impacted heating equipment as quickly as possible. This is an unfortunate and unforeseen complication during our first few months as new owners of the building, but we are committed to ensuring all residents have safe, warm homes moving forward.”

New York-based 1170 Galapago LLC purchased the property late last year from California-based CWS properties.

Tenants say many of the maintenance issues pre-date the ownership transfer.

Three dozen apartments still have heating issues.

No timeline has been set for completion, nor has there been any response on the request for rent credit.