DENVER — A Utah-based mobile home park operator reached a settlement agreement with the state of Colorado last week to repay Denver-area residents about $150,000 in wrongly withheld security deposits, arbitrary fees and improperly charged attorneys fees.
Seven Colorado parks operated by Kingsley Management Corporation were identified in the settlement, which was prompted by resident complaints dating back to October 2016, The Colorado Sun reported.
The parks include Lamplighter Village, Kimberly Hills, Front Range, Friendly Village of the Rockies, Friendly Village of Aurora, Arbordale Acres, and Casa Estates.
Kingsley Management had refunded more than $91,500 of the $146,770 settlement to current and former residents since the agreement was reached last Wednesday, officials said.
The remaining $55,200 will be maintained in trust while the company retries to contact tenants, some of whom have moved away and may not know about the settlement. Any amounts not refunded would be transferred to the state treasurer.
Kingsley Management attorney Sheila Meer said that the 200 or so people owed refunds were spread among thousands of residents and multiple years. She added that the corporation voluntarily audited every tenant account and has “initiated several critical improvements in the oversight of its field operations to avoid such problems in future.”
Attorney General Phil Weiser said the investigation is a warning to other park managers who have been the subject of complaints across the state, and an invitation for other tenants to step forward.
“There are companies out there who operate irresponsibly on the view they’ll get away with it,” Weiser said. “There could easily be other actors out there, other incidents out there that we need to look into.”
Andrea Chiriboga-Flor, who is the Colorado State Director for housing organization 9to5 Colorado, said mobile home owners have tried to express their grievances to previous state attorney generals but were unsuccessful.
“So it’s definitely a shift to hear about this,” she said. “When (Weiser) first took office we reached out right away, and flagged that mobile homes were a really big issue. We talked to staff about what we’re seeing on the ground, that this is a really common problem. His office was a lot more interested in taking a stand on this.”
The settlement includes some obligations for Kingsley Management, including allowing tenants to preview their monthly charges four days before they’re due. If any of the provisions are violated, the corporation could be subject to future civil monetary penalties.
In addition to the settlement, Kingsley Management also agreed to pay $10,000 for the cost of the state’s investigation, in part as a charitable donation to Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. Both payments must be made within 45 days of the settlement date.