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Tenants win eviction lawsuits against downtown Denver luxury apartments

Judges ruled The Grand Apartments breached contract by serving tenants notices to vacate following continuous flooding
The Grand Apartments
Posted at 8:41 PM, Oct 05, 2022

DENVER — The Grand Apartments, a dual-tower high rise located off Chestnut Place near Union Station is aesthetically immaculate — a property, that still advertises the building on its website as a place "where you can impress your friends with a level of luxury that is at once comfortable and breathtaking."

But since construction finished in 2018, many former tenants at the apartment have had a very different experience to share amid a "grand" problem there — continuous flooding due to construction flaws.

At one point, those who wanted out of their lease faced penalties and were required to sign off on a non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreement.

Many other tenants, who weren't directly impacted by the flooding, wanted to stay, but were served 30-day eviction notices earlier this year amid the apartment's major plans for repairs, which stated in part "we are now unfortunately in a position where we are serving all residents with a 30-day notice to vacate, regardless of your lease end date, floor level or tower association."

Dozens left following the notice and the majority of the apartment is now vacant, but a few tenants decided to fight back, remaining in their units until the property owner 1709 Chestnut Place, LLC took them to court.

In September, two separate Denver County Court judges ruled in favor of four tenants in two separate trials that began in July, finding that the Grand had no right to evict the tenants and that the Grand breached its lease contracts with them.

Before the matter even ended up in court, Charae and Spencer, two of the tenants listed in the lawsuit who did not want to provide their last names for privacy and employment concerns, say they attempted to reach an agreement with the apartment, after the apartment notified them major repairs to the building were needed.

"We asked to be moved to a different unit in the building, we asked to be moved to a comparable dwelling elsewhere in Denver," Charae said.

Denver7 obtained their lease agreement with The Grand, which under the Construction Addendum's displacement section in the second to last page of the 51 page lease agreement states

In the event Resident must be displaced from the apartment that is the subject of the Lease Contract due to repair, renovation, improvement, or construction in or around the apartment, Owner, at Owner’s sole option, shall transfer Resident to another apartment within the apartment community that is not affected by the repair, renovation, improvement, or construction or shall provide appropriate
comparable accommodations for Resident. However, in the event of Resident’s displacement and subsequent re-location, the terms of the Lease Contract, including but not limited to the payment of rent shall remain in full force and effect.

Charae and Spencer claim The Grand denied their attempt to abide by their contractual agreement.

The couples attorney Kit Davlin, a Senior Associate at Robinson and Henry, P.C., says "The Grand believed that the contract, the lease, entitled them to evict someone in the case of "catastrophe." They made an argument that these were catastrophic circumstances that allowed them to evict anyone."

Davlin underscored that Charae and Spencer's unit was not directly impacted amid the continuous flooding.

"The apartments were still habitable, but The Grand was planning in the future to create a situation that might make them uninhabitable that might be a catastrophe, but that hadn't actually happened," Davlin said. "Catastrophe" is a specific thing that has to happen, it's when the apartment burns down or when there's a chemical spill, and everybody has to get out right now. Our clients were able to stay for a significant period of time, right up through the lawsuit. So no catastrophe had happened. The Grand was simply arguing that one might or would happen in the future, when they had to do their own repairs."

All four of tenants reached a confidential settlement with The Grand.

1709 Chestnut Place, LLC and their attorneys declined a comment on this matter.