A man who has asked to be allowed to rent his Aspen Village home because he can’t sell it will likely be denied his request due to the property’s governing documents.
Doug Lee owns a resident occupied (RO) unit in Aspen Village governed by the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority (APCHA) and has lived outside the state for three years. Lee left the Roaring Fork Valley in 2009 to take care of his sick parents and decided not to return, he said.
Lee, who has owned the home since 1995, originally placed the property on the market in 2008 and listed it through APCHA for $350,000. At the time, the unit’s value was assessed at $345,500, but in light of the Great Recession that number has since dropped to $280,000. Lee lowered the property’s asking price five times over the past three years and it is currently on the market for $225,000. Despite the reduction, Lee hasn’t been able to garner interest the unit, he said.
“I’ve been doing my best to sell the place,” Lee said. “My price is 36 percent below my original asking price and it’s 46 percent below the average sales price of mobile homes at Aspen Village in 2008. ... It’s a collapse of the economy that I’m caught in.”
Deed restrictions in Aspen Village allow homes to be rented for up to two years. Last year, Lee went before the housing board and asked to be allowed to rent the home for a third year in a row. The housing board and Aspen Village’s homeowners association board both granted his request. It turns out, however, that the housing board didn’t have the authority at the time to grant the request, said Julie Kieffer, APCHA qualifications specialist.
Aspen Village’s deed restriction says any extension on renting units has to be approved by Pitkin County commissioners, as well as the housing board and the property’s HOA board, Kieffer said.
“He lucked out I guess,” Kieffer said of Lee’s 2011 approval.
Before realizing that the decision on extending Lee’s rental timeframe would have to go through county commissioners, APCHA staff had written a memo to the housing board recommending it deny his request. Lee’s issue was scheduled to be heard at Wednesday’s APCHA board meeting, but that has been delayed. Now, Kieffer is consulting with county and APCHA attorneys to determine the next step.
When the guidelines and deed restrictions were created, people didn’t consider what position owners would be in during a bad economy, Lee said.
“When those rules were written no one thought that the sales were going to collapse,” Lee said.
Lee, who lived in the valley for 35 years before he moved, said he enjoyed his time in the area, but at this point in his life he’s ready to move on.
“I’d really like to leave Pitkin County,” he said.