You’ve seen Goodfellas, right?
Want to know where Paulie really is today? He’s keeping busy by running a property management company in Denver.
Just over a week ago, an apartment in a Capitol Hill complex exploded with no warning. What remains of the building is located at 429 E 14th Ave, and is known as the Acacia Apartments. The explosion was in one apartment, but may have caused damage to other units, as well. At minimum, the neighboring apartment suffered damage when the wall between the units collapsed.
The cause of the blast is unknown at this time, however it should be noted that residents had been complaining of a gas smell for several days. After the owner seemingly ignored those complaints, he seems to be adopting a Goodfellas style attitude towards his tenants:
“Business bad? Pay me.”
“Oh, your apartment exploded? Pay me.”
According to the local CBS affiliate, the maintenance manager offered the following statement to them:
The owner is not planning on giving discounts on rent for this month. Acacia will not pay for hotels, either.
Information available at this time suggests that since the explosion, the building has had no heat, no gas, and no water, for at least a week. We can’t think of any US municipality where such a place could legally be rented to someone, but landlord-tenant relations are often sticky. Ultimately, it may not be the landlord’s problem to put you up in a hotel. So what is a person to do when something makes their apartment completely uninhabitable through no fault of their own?
File a claim on your Denver Renters Insurance. It’s that simple.
If there is a covered loss, you can take advantage of your loss of use coverage. It pays for a hotel, as well as other additional living expenses resulting from the covered loss. That prevents the cost of a hotel from being your problem, and also prevents you from being at the whim of your landlord Paulie.
The covered loss (the explosion) forced the evacuation of the building, and according to an open letter from the collective residents of the building, some problems remain. The Acacia apartments are not usable by their residents after the blast, according to the letter, for reasons such as:
No Gas – Gas service is (understandably) shut off to the building at this time. That means no cooking facilities. That’s a problem for any resident, but particularly for those with children and tight budgets who depend on being able to cook a meal instead of spending additional money on prepared or fast food.
No Heat – Considering that it is currently snowing in Denver that’s a problem. Evening lows are in the twenties, and no reasonable person could or would sleep in an apartment that was twenty degrees. The open letter alleges that the owners and management have made no effort to offer space heaters, blankets, or any other accommodation to fix the lack of heat.
We note that Wal-Mart offers at least one model of space heater for less than ten dollars and that this would likely not be a significant expense for the landlord. It is, however, unknown if the building’s electrical system could support several space heaters per unit. Considering that electricity seems to be the only functional utility at this time, that may be a concern.
No Hot Water – We presume that residents of the Acacia apartments might want to bathe or wash dishes at some point in the future. Perhaps they’ve wanted to do so in the more than one week span since the explosion happened, as well.
In writing their open letter, the residents make perfectly reasonable demands. In a nutshell, they want access to reports arising from the investigation of the explosion. They expect for this to include information about any latent dangers which are now problematic because of the explosion, such as asbestos. That’s reasonable given the age of the building and the fact that latent asbestos is safe until it’s disturbed.
They’re also looking for a reduction in rent and utilities, to be applied to December, in the amount of 23.3%. That seems reasonable, and perhaps even a bit on the low side. They are also seeking an apology from the owners and management. The letter then goes on to note that they are seeking an amicable resolution and have not pursued any legal action at this time. Overall, the letter is rather more friendly than one might expect.
It will be interesting to see if their demands are met, and how many people in the building have renters insurance. You can’t predict life, and you can’t predict the way your landlord will react to a crisis. Renters insurance in Denver has an average cost of about fifteen dollars a month – it’s well worth it for the protection it brings, not just for your things and your liability, but also for the additional costs incurred as a result of a loss. To find out just how affordable the coverage can be for you, just call (800)892-4308 or click to get covered - whether you need Denver renters insurance quotes online or coverage anywhere else!
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