Lawsuit: Aspen duplex unit is a health hazard
ASPEN – The owner of an Aspen duplex unit has been hit with a lawsuit alleging that his place is such a mess that it’s a public safety hazard.
Mel Seid’s unit at 1104 Dale Ave. has fallen into a state of disrepair and it endangers “the heath, safety and welfare of neighboring property owners and residents,” claims a lawsuit filed Thursday in Pitkin County District Court.
The suit was filed by Boulder-based Emerging Companies Inc., which owns the duplex unit next to Seid’s.
Emerging Companies alleges that the state of the unit became so bad that its tenant, a family, moved out and stopped paying rent around March 1. The unit sits empty, the suit says, and the landlord is “unlikely” to find a tenant to replace the family.
Boulder attorney Lew M. Harstead, one of three lawyers representing the landlord in its court action, said the public nuisance lawsuit’s purpose is to get Seid to clean up his property.
“It would be our end goal through this lawsuit or otherwise for Mr. Seid to remedy this situation and clean up his property,” he said. “This isn’t a case about money or trying to get rich. This really is a case about trying to preserve the property and the viability of the people living on the property.”
Among the allegations against Seid are that his unit has natural gas leaks, the electrical wiring poses danger, a clothes washer is kept in his yard, and “the junk and rubbish in the yard of [Seid’s] unit harbor or conceal rodents [including marmots] and is unsightly, unhealthy and unsafe.”
Seid is in violation of six city codes that pertain to trash and upkeep, the suit claims.
The suit comes after Seid appeared in November in Aspen Municipal Court for allegedly violating a city code that prohibits the keeping of junk and is considered a detriment to the health and safety of Aspen residents. The charge was dropped after Seid showed a judge photographs of his property after he had been cited. The photographs indicated that he had cleaned the property to the court’s satisfaction.
The suit makes four claims for relief: nuisance, negligence per se, intentional interference with contract and breach of covenants.
Seid did not return a telephone message that was left at his home Thursday.
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