Verandas suddenly vanish, but who's to blame?

Verandas suddenly vanish, but who's to blame?
SEATTLE -- Moda Apartments promises fashionable, affordable living in the city's Belltown neighborhood.

But these days, its residents are living on the edge.

Several balcony railings disappeared about a week ago, stripped to the bolts and leaving just a skeleton of the structure that used to be.

Residents said one day they had balconies, then the next day they were gone. They watched workers take down the rails last Wednesday night.

"When they started climbing up, they started taking pieces of my neighbor's balcony apart. They just started stripping random pieces off, carrying them down and putting them in their truck," said resident Lynda Serravo.

So who took the balcony? The same people who put them up -- contractor Brace Point Railing, according to the apartment manager.

The manager said she has filed a police report against the contractor for criminal trespass and reckless endangerment.

Workers at Brace Point Railing's headquarters confirmed they had installed the balconies at Moda, but the company president did not return KOMO's calls or e-mails. Railing similar to the style used on Moda were seen stacked at Brace Point's headquarters.

Moda tenants said the company posted notes after the incident, saying it had every right to take the rails.

"They were repo'ing the balconies because the Moda company hasn't paid them like $20,000 is what they owe them," said resident Chad Rees.

The apartment manager would not discuss the debt. But according to two different contractors, reclaiming an installed product without warning is absolutely against the law even if there is money owed.

Residents don't care who's to blame; they just want the bars back on their balconies.