Denver boutique says raw sewage, illegal subleasing led to store closure

DENVER – Denver small business owners warn other small businesses after it was revealed that maintenance issues forced landlords to illegally sublease their business space and relocate to new locations. is emitting

Six months after leasing her first brick-and-mortar boutique, small business owner and fashion designer Crystal Lee found sewage seeping into the basement of her Broadway and Evans stores. I said I started.

“This seriously damaged my business. I was down for almost a month because no one, including my staff, was in the building,” Lee says.

Lee found the space on Craigslist in January and said she was excited to move in after working from home for nearly a decade.

“I started this in 2013 at home, just cutting and sewing floors. You know, just one of those old school things, just crafting a story,” Lee said. “In January she saw a Craigslist ad for a beautiful space on Broadway. A gentleman named Henry Adams subleased part of the space to me.”

By July, Lee said plumbing in her building began to fail. Lee said Adams encouraged her to work around her problem.

“I sent him[Adams]a picture and sent him a video showing the seriousness of the problem, and he still said it was our responsibility as tenants to fix it. , decided to track down the owner of the building,” Lee said.

Lee said the owner was told the building had been illegally sublet and she had no rights to the space.

Lee immediately hired a lawyer.

“The last information I received from my lawyer was that I didn’t have a lease. I didn’t have anything legally protecting me in the space. There was an eviction notice, which means technically, I had moved in. I hadn’t received written confirmation from the owner, John, that I was safe in this space, so I had to move out. I decided to do it,” Lee said.

Denver boutique says raw sewage, illegal subleasing led to store closure

To avoid these situations, small business owners should ask their attorneys and brokers to review their leases, said Rodney Foster, senior associate commercial real estate broker at Summit Commercial Brokers.

“Crystal’s situation was unusual in that the tenant who leased her … leased without the landlord’s consent,” Foster said. This will avoid what Crystal experienced.”

Lee said the store had mostly lost momentum when it first opened, and recently started working again after moving to a new space after a month-long closure.

Lee is still weighing her legal options, but hopes her story will help other vulnerable small business owners.

“This was very tough and took a lot of time… but it took a lot of mental toll. I have a lot of people who support me. If you believe that, don’t let people like this get in your way.

In response to Lee’s allegations, Adam’s attorney issued the following statement to Denver7, “Altitude Collective, LLC has entered into a bona fide lease agreement with CRLEE Designs, LLC in January 2022, and These issues were quickly remedied. Mr. Lee signed a release agreement on the issue and was offered compensation, including free rent. Instead, Mr. Lee decided to vacate the property earlier this month.”

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