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AG files complaint against company profiled in 9Wants to Know investigation

9:42 AM, Dec 22, 2009   |    comments
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The Real Estate Commission demands Mile High Management (MHM) stop operating without a broker's license, according to the court filing that also lists numerous homeowners who complain the company collected money but did not forward some or all of the money to landlords.

"The landlords' complaints received from March 2009 to October 2009 allege that MHM collected security deposits, rental payments and late fees from tenants, but failed to forward some or all of such funds to the landlords," according to the complaint e-filed Monday by the office of Colorado Attorney General John Suthers in Arapahoe County District Court.

The Division of Real Estate provided 9Wants to Know with copies of 10 complaints by landlords and renters against Mile High Management or its owner Kevin Allen. The Arapahoe County District Attorney's office confirmed it also received complaints against the company that has also operated using the name Move in Colorado.

Three lawsuits filed by landlords against Mile High Management or company owner Kevin Allen claim he owes homeowners $21,991, according to court records obtained by 9Wants to Know. Two of the lawsuits are closed, one of the lawsuits is still pending.

The commission's complaint alleged Mile High Management, Allen and his employees, Jennifer Allen and Sean O'Neill operated a real estate management company without the proper license from the real estate commission.

The commission's complaint says the real estate commission notified Mile High Management of landlord complaints, the alleged misconduct and a pending investigation by the real estate commission on April 1, 2009.

On April 20, Jennifer Allen admitted misconduct and claimed that the company had made changes, according to the commission's complaint.

"The Commission continued its investigation into the allegations, received more complaints, and found additional facts supporting the allegations of unlicensed practice," the commission's complaint says.

9Wants to Know discovered the company continued to offer to rent homes on behalf of homeowners as recently as Dec. 10.

9Wants to Know went undercover making appointments to view a house Allen's company listed for rent on Craigslist. Allen and Mile High Management Operations Director David Gladu showed our producer around a three-bedroom house in Centennial.

"We don't do any credit check," Gladu said. "We won't even call your references."

When asked how rent payments are set up, Gladu told us renters pay the company and it pays the homeowners.

"You'd be sending us the money and we'd be forwarding it on," he said.

But the homeowners and renters who filed complaints told 9Wants to Know that is not what happened.

Homeowner Debra Black said when it came time to get paid, Mile High's checks often arrived late and eventually not at all.

She hired MHM to manage her Aurora condo after she decided to transfer with United Airlines from Denver to Washington, D.C.

In court paperwork from a claim filed in Arapahoe County, Black stated Mile High Management paid her from February through July 2009 but claims she wanted to terminate her agreement with the company for cause "to include not having timely paid over the rent."

9Wants to Know called Allen to ask him about homeowners' and renters' claims of not being paid on time or fully. Allen agreed to meet with us, but never showed up for the interview at the scheduled time.

Allen's attorney, Dion Persson, did call to say his client had decided not to talk to 9NEWS. So, 9Wants to Know went to Allen's house.

"These people are getting their money," Allen told 9Wants to Know. He said all funds are forwarded on to the owners.

After 9NEWS spoke with Allen, his attorney sent a letter calling the number of lawsuits "small."

Persson said Allen and Mile High Management "are working hard to resolve these disputes," and said some of them arose from a business policy where Mile High Management guaranteed the homeowner would receive the rents from the tenant.

"In these cases, the tenants stopped paying and the company was unable to honor the guarantees. The company is working with these homeowners to address these claims. Of course, the company no longer provides that type of guarantee," Persson wrote in the letter to 9Wants to Know.

Persson said his client is a good businessman.

"Regretfully, the company has had a few unfortunate disputes in connection with its business," Persson wrote. "Due to the lessons learned from these disputes, the company has improved its systems to provide security to the homeowners and ensure compliance with all applicable laws."

To file a complaint with the Division of Real Estate click on: http://www.dora.state.co.us/real-estate/Complaints/Complaints.htm

If you have information about Mile High Management or a tip for 9Wants to Know Investigator Jace Larson, e-mail him at jace.larson@9news.com or call 303-871-1432.

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