By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
I had to watch and read this report twice. The information is shocking.
Imagine buying a what you think is a condo, but it’s not. And then, when you decide to sell your home, the property inspector tells you your foundation is crumbling. The sale is off.
To complicate matters, Patti Cucuzzo recently learned that the condo she purchased in 2011 is not really a condo but a PUD (Planned Unit Development), where each unit owner is responsible for fixing their own foundation.
But wait, there are only 4 units, and they are all built on the same foundation. In order to fix the foundation, all 4 unit owners must agree to the repair.
How can you share a building, and at the same time, not share a building? It’s not as if each unit has a separate foundation.
Confused? Here’s the report from NBC Connecticut:
Crumbling Foundation Problem Has Added Headaches for Condo Owners
The most disturbing part about this report is the claim that the Association was aware of the problem with the foundation several years ago when the Cucuzzo purchased the home. But the seller did not disclose the issue, and neither did the condo association.
And guess what? In Connecticut, there is no legal requirement for the association to disclose information under these circumstances.
That’s especially remarkable, because Eastern Connecticut has had an epidemic of concrete foundation failures. All were built by J.J. Mottes Company between the early 1980s and 1998. The problem has been traced to the presence of a mineral called pyrrhotite, which causes a chemical reaction around 15 years after installation. That, in turn, causes expansion and cracking of concrete.
Watch this NBC Connecticut report for details.
Insurance companies used to cover foundation failure, but since 2007, insurers have routinely excluded such coverage. Court settlements prior to 2007 are confidential and not publicly disclosed, making it difficult for buyers and homeowners to determine the source of the problem and who should be held accountable.
The courts have found J.J. Mottes not liable for installation of concrete foundations, and have cited a ten-year statute of limitations.
So now Cucuzzos and many other CT homeowners are stuck with unsellable properties that requires a costly repair.
How costly? Experts say it costs $100,000 – $250,000 to remove and replace a home’s foundation.
What a nightmare.