May 4, 2014 8:14 PM by Eric Ross
In April 2014, News 5 received viewer tips from tenants at the Pine Creek Village Apartments regarding an unpaid utilities bill the landlord, Terry Ragan had refused to pay.
Claudia Abernathy, an attorney in Colorado Springs says the unpaid utilities bill exceeded $200,000. As of April 30, nearly 100 tenants had contacted her for legal advice on whether they would be able to get out of their lease.
If an apartment complex does not have working utilities, the City of Colorado Springs will condemn the property, meaning tenants would be forced to leave and find a new place to live with little notice.
According to tenants, utilities are paid monthly to the leasing office when they pay their rent. While hundreds of tenants paid their bills on time, CSU said Ragan wasn't paying his.
After receiving "shut off" notices on their doors, tenants reached out to the media for help. Utilities were going to be disconnected May 9, however CSU confirmed they have reached a payment agreement with Ragan's company, Resident Management Systems just days before this was set to take place.
In an email sent to News 5, CSU writes:
"Colorado Springs Utilities has reached an agreement with Resident Management Systems (RMS) that will prevent utility service disconnections at Pine Creek Village Apartments. The April 9 posting is no longer applicable. We greatly appreciate the patience displayed by tenants throughout this process. As a community-owned utility, we understand this situation has been extremely stressful for tenants and we are pleased that the issue has been resolved." ---Steve Berry, CSU Spokesperson
Terry Regan and the Pine Creek Village Apartments will be featured in an investigative report on tenants' rights, Sunday night on News 5 at 10 p.m.
If you have a story idea you'd like the News 5 Guardians to investigate, send an email to TheGuardians@KOAA.com.