Renter and property owner at odds over eviction, damage
Renting property 621 Overlin Drive has been a nightmare for both Debra Blain and for her landlady Rosie Ferrin.Blain and her friend Jim Zegarski were moving Blain’s stuff out of the Glenwood Springs apartment Thursday after she was evicted. Ferrin recently won a civil judgment against Blain Tuesday requiring her to leave the rental in 48 hours. Blain’s lived there since April 2005.But the rental is in poor condition. There’s an overflowing septic tank on the side of the house that leaks sewage and a foul smell out into the yard. Piles of roofing litter the back yard. There are visible holes in the roof. Large sheets of plywood serve as portions of the exterior wall. Blain paid about $525 a month.A Glenwood Springs building official was at the property Thursday snapping photos.Zegarski and Blain said the official told them the building was unsafe, would probably be condemned. Building official Pat Seydel said he couldn’t comment because there may be unresolved legal matters.Ferrin said Blain was evicted because she parties late at night, terrorizes other tenants, made unauthorized alterations to the rental and has caused all the extensive damage in the building. Blain removed a structural wall, punched holes in the roof and deliberately flooded the building with a hose, she added. Blain has appeared in police reports at least four times in 2007 for allegedly fighting at the Roxie nightclub, driving drunk, possessing drugs and for a dog at large violation.Ferrin said Blain once tried to provoke Ferrin’s husband Cleyo in an attempt to get him arrested.”This woman is out of control,” Ferrin said.Zegarski and Blain said an energy company “red-tagged” the unit’s furnace for emitting large amounts of carbon monoxide and there’s been no heat since that happened in March. The two both got pneumonia at the same time, they said, from excessive mold, carbon monoxide and smoke from the ground-floor tenants fireplace that fills the upstairs unit.”Last year the sink fell through the countertop,” Zegarski said. “Her toilet fell through the floor, I swear to God.”Pictures of a torn ceiling and a broken toilet seat surrounded by sludge were included in the court file for the eviction proceedings.Blain said she and Zegarski have made improvements including putting sheetrock over mold, replacing the kitchen floor, floor underneath the toilet, tiling around the kitchen sink and covering holes in a closet, and that Ferrin has done almost nothing to maintain or repair the building. They contend Ferrin said they could freely remodel and improve the rental. They believe Ferrin unfairly evicted her as retaliation for calling the energy company and asking for simple repairs such as a furnace or water heater that work.”I’m bummed because we’ve done so much to make this place better,” Blain said.But Ferrin doesn’t buy it. She said Blain barricaded the door and changed the locks, preventing her from accessing or repairing the property.”What Rosie wants more than anything is an opportunity to go in the house and make the repairs,” said Jordan May, Ferrin’s attorney.Blain said her only option now is to possibly spend some nights at a local motel for about $900 a month.Police Chief Terry Wilson confirmed there was an incident involving the Ferrins and Blain and Zegarski that police mediated. He said it was alleged that the Ferrins broke down the door and dragged her sofa outside, but that no arrests were made or charges pressed.In a letter to Blain included in the court file, Ferrin wrote that Blain caused her stress and health problems by constantly bickering with neighbors and “putting (her) in the middle.” She wrote that she evicted a neighboring tenant to “lessen the stress.”Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611 firstname.lastname@example.orgPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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