Longtime tenants told to vacate after apartment building sold

Our Colorado: Tenants struggle to find housing
Posted at 2:45 PM, May 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-11 02:24:19-04

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DENVER — They knew something was up when they saw their building being advertised for sale online.

Now the cold, hard reality of Denver's booming housing economy has struck like a thunderbolt for tenants at the Mayfair Apartments on the 1400 block of Jersey Street in Denver. 

The owners of Mayfair recently sold the building to Atlas Real Estate Group.

"We got a notice posted on the front door that we had to be out by June 30," said Joe Klink.

Cash Bonus Offer

Atlas is offering cash bonuses to get the tenants out earlier.

"They said they'd give us a $1,000 if we left in a week," said Klink's neighbor, Nessibo E.

That's $1,000 plus the security deposit, plus prorated rent, if they leave by May 14.   $750 plus their deposit and prorated rent, if they leave by May 21, or $500 plus their deposit and prorated rent, if they leave by May 28.

As much as he could use the money, Klink said he can't afford to move.

"My income is only $800 a month," he said. "You can hardly rent a studio apartment for that."

Klink said he knows he's been fortunate for the last six years.  

"The family that owned this building was very, very nice," he said. "When I moved in, I was paying $400 a month in rent.  I'm paying $400 a month now."

Concern About the Future

He said he worries what will happen next.

So does Mrs. E.

"My kids go to school in this neighborhood," she said.

When asked if she'll be able to find another place to live, Mrs. E replied, "We've been looking all over the place and there is nothing close to our kids' school."

Mrs. E says she is also concerned about a second notice that was posted to the tenant's front doors on Wednesday, notifying them that work crews will be entering the units to paint them.

"I'm pregnant," she said. "I can't breathe those fumes."

Legal Notice

The tenants contacted Denver7 to ask if it was legal to give just over a months notice, and whether work crews can enter their apartment, if they're still occupied.

A landlord-tenant at Brothers Redevelopment said, it depends on the lease.

"If they're month to month without a lease," said Patrick Noonan, "they only need to be given 21 days notice before the end of the month."

When asked about the new owner being able to access their apartments, Noonan said, "When it comes to repairs, it all goes back to the lease.  Sometimes the lease says 'we can come onto the property and do repairs with 24 hours notice.' That's the best practice across the field."

Noonan also said if the tenant is pregnant, she should try to work with the landlord regarding her concerns about painting.

"With a reasonable landlord, they're going to understand, they're going to work with the tenant to make an accomodation," he said.

Denver7 reached out to Atlas Real Estate Group to ask what is being done to the building, and whether the previous tenants will have an option to return. Atlas has not replied.

Help Line

We asked Noonan what the Mayfair tenants should do.

He said they should call the Help Line at Brothers Redevelopment.

The number is:  844-926-6632 

"We like to explore each each individual's options," he said. "When folks give us a call, we try to think outside the box in terms of what we can do, both in the short term, and the long term, to find an affordable place to live."