By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Here’s another shining example of a mature condominium complex with crumbling infrastructure and, apparently, little money to fix the problem.
Residents of more than 500 units at Encino Condo Association have been without running water for at least a week, according to a CBS Los Angeles news report earlier this week, due to three consecutive water main breaks.
Although the condo association has arranged for delivery of water for drinking, washing, and bathing, many residents are fed up with the inconvenience of hauling water, and the delay in restoration of running water.
‘Like 19th Century!’: Encino Condo Residents Going On Sixth Day Without Running Water
July 20, 2018 at 8:06 pm
ENCINO (CBSLA) — Residents at an apartment complex in the San Fernando Valley have gone six days without running water, just in time for another approaching heat wave.
The taps at the 509-unit Encino Oaks apartment have been dry since Sunday, when a water pipe broke. Some of the disgruntled residents said that as soon as the 47-year-old complex’s management fixes one pipe, another one breaks.
Crews were working on the third break Friday.
“It’s a nightmare! It’s terrible,” said one man.
“Like 19th century!” said Arman. “We take water from [the] pool for [the] toilet,” he chuckled.
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As is common in many older condo associations, a high percentage of the units at Encino Condo Association are leased to tenants. Therefore, quite a few condo owners don’t live in their units, and are not directly affected by the lack of running water. Positive cash flow is usually a top priority for landlord owners, and that translates to keeping monthly assessments and fees as low as possible.
Owner occupants living on limited incomes also tend to favor keeping assessments low. That leaves the condo association with a tight budget for maintaining common property, including important infrastructure.
According to the report, Encino Condo Association appears to be fixing water pipes in a piecemeal fashion, replacing one small section of pipe until the next section breaks.
In California, where housing prices far exceed national averages, Encino condo units are sold at relatively affordable prices. A local realtor advertises condos at prices ranging from $250,000 – $350,000, noting that the association boasts “Resort-like amenities including Tennis Courts, Pool, Spa and Gym.”
All nice facilities to enjoy, in theory. But not as essential as having access to plenty of running water, especially in the midst of a brutal Southern California heat wave.