Denver families face eviction over the holidays

Posted at 10:10 PM, Dec 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-02 00:10:29-05

Hundreds of families living in mobile home parks across the metro area could face eviction this holiday season.

Tenants who live in the Kimberly Hills, Friendly Village of the Rockies and Front Range communities are being charged hundreds of dollars in back pay after their management company miscalculated their rent and water bills.

In bills and letters sent to tenants, the company demanded payment immediately and by no later than the end of the month.

If the bills aren't paid, according to their lease, tenants said they could face eviction.

"I'm very angry," said tenant Hector Rodriguez. "It can affect it for my Christmas."

Rodriguez said he's been saving every penny to make sure his kids have a great holiday, but when he got his water bill last month it came with a shocking number.

"Man this is too much," he said.

He also received a letter from management which said they made a mistake and undercharged him for four months on his water bill.

As a result, he now owes an additional $333.15.

The letter goes on to say, "Please pay this amount immediately, but no later than the end of the month."

"I don't want to pay immediately," said Rodriguez.

He's one of hundreds of tenants now dealing with the issue.

All of the mobile home parks are run by Kingsley management.

"It's impacting my family," said Rodriguez.

He also showed Denver7 letters other tenants received which said they were undercharged for rent and in some cases owed nearly $300 in back pay, all due by the end of the month.

"To get hit like this could mean the difference between having a roof over your head and being homeless," said Rudy Gonzales executive director of Servicios de La Raza.

Gonzales helps run the non-profit which fights for low income families. He said what's happening is an injustice.

"Two-hundred dollars is not little, especially when you're talking about residents who work two to three minimum wage jobs to make it."

For Rodriguez, it means less presents under the tree for his kids.

"Remove a couple gifts from what I'm planning to give my kids," he said.

Denver7 reached out the Kingsley management.

A lawyer representing the company provided us with this statement:

 Kimberly Hills Manufactured Home Community, Friendly Village of the Rockies Manufactured Home Community and Front Range Manufactured Home Community provide water to residents through individual meters at each manufactured home.  Water rates comply with relevant regulations. 

An error resulted in the undercharges which are now being billed to tenants.  Payment plans are available and tenants should contact the management office in the community in which they reside to discuss implementing a plan.  Plans may be approved which spread payments into 2016.

Finally, no one has been evicted over these water charges.

Denver7 Reporter Jennifer Kovaleski asked what exactly the requirements are to be approved for a payment plan through 2016, but never received a response.

Tenants held a meeting Tuesday night to discuss the ongoing issues.