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NORTHGLENN, Colo. -- More than a dozen tenants of a Northglenn apartment complex are being billed for late fees and "partial rent" they say they don't owe.
At a time when gathering in a group is a health risk, the residents of Squire Village in Northglenn said they don't have a choice.
"They don't think we're going to stand up and fight for ourselves," said Jennifer Padilla, surrounded by a dozen of her neighbors. "We are upset, and we are so tired of this."
They said most tenants received letters on their doors last Friday, stating they owe hundreds of dollars in late fees and/or partial rent, dating back to 2016, due immediately.
"I have never paid my rent late, and I just re-certified last year," said Padilla, showing money orders to prove she paid on time. "This never came up. But now, they're charging me one dollar a day late fees for every day of the month. I don't have $395. We all are seniors and disabled, and we live month-to-month."
The residents surrounding her cheered her on, stating that the fines are fabricated and that the property managers, PK Management LLC, is preying on the vulnerable.
Other than the sticky note on the letter with the incorrect date saying managers will be in the office on Wednesday 10/20/20, management has not responded to residents' phone calls or pleas for information.
"We may be elderly and disabled, but we're not stupid," said Dione Knapp, who has lived in Squire Village, a subsidized housing complex, for 17 years. "We pay our rent on time because we're living on Social Security and we don't want to be evicted. We follow the law. I do not owe this."
The Ohio branch of PK Management has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Ezra Coopersmith, an investigations coordinator with the BBB, said in general, they predict more tenants will see late fee letters, as pandemic-squeezed property managers look for ways to make up for lost rent.
"This happened at the apartments where I live, too," said Coopersmith. "But hopefully these companies are willing to work with people or if they've made a mistake, own up to it."
Contact Denver7 received this statement from PK Management:
“Recently, notices were sent to several residents of Squire Village Apartments, regarding past due balances noted on their accounts. Upon further research, it appears that many of these balances are possibly due to management error.
To reduce any additional confusion, individual notices will be sent this week to correctly state the balances shown on each ledger. For those households with actual balances due, management will contact each household personally to set up a convenient face to face meeting to more accurately explain these balances and or management corrections.
We value our senior residents at Squire Village and sincerely apologize for any undue confusion that the notices may have caused.” -- Joyce L. Walker, Vice President of Community Development, PK Management, LLC
People who live in Squire Village are still not confident they will be treated fairly.
"I have never paid a partial rent payment," said Dolores Bargus, a retired bookkeeper shaking her head at the letter. "They are just crooks. I don't owe this, and I'm not paying it."