By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Happy endings to condo HOA horror stories are rare. It’s refreshing to see good news, for a change.
Investigative reporter Karla Ray, WFTV, happily reports that One Thousand Oaks condo association is working with several local contractors to repair Judy Young’s condo, at no cost to her.
You might recall two previous IAC posts about Young’s black mold-infested condo. The 72-year-old woman is a survivor of brain surgery. Because part of her frontal lobe had been removed several years ago, Young was unable to smell the mold growing in her home.
By the time she discovered the mold, portions of the owner’s unit were severely infested and damaged.
Last November, the HOA’s attorney, from Becker law firm, notified Young she’d have to pay more than $6,000 for repair of the damages to her unit, even though the source of the leak was from a unit upstairs.
The local media reported the story, including an interview of Judy Young.
People in the community step up to help
Not long after WFTV’s report, and pro bono help from attorney Andrew Lannon of Bogin, Munns and Munns, the condo association backed off its demands for payment from Young.
Since then, Indoor Air Quality Solutions, ABC Air Conditioning and Heating, Henry Electric Incorporated, and Bob Hutchinson of Belfor Property Restoration, have provided their services, free of charge, to make the condo safe again.
Hutchinson said that he discovered additional leaks and mold in Young’s kitchen. He has already repaired that damage, and plans to install new cabinets soon.
While repairs are in progress, Young is reportedly staying in a hotel, paid for by donations.
In a rare act of good faith, the condo association decided to pay for repairs to wood framing, insulation and drywall in Young’s condo unit.
In a few weeks, Young should be able to return home to her mold-free condo.
Let’s summarize what led to the happy ending for Judy Young:
1) Local media picked up the condo HOA horror story, and pointed out the unfairness and inhumanity of the situation,
2) A pro bono attorney from a prominent law firm stepped in to help the homeowner,
3) Local contractors offered their services free of charge, taking the pressure off of the homeowner and the condo association, which avoided a fight over the money,
4) Generous donors helped pay for temporary housing for the homeowner, and
5) The HOA and its law firm were persuaded to do the right thing.
In other words, a true community of neighbors and professionals worked together to solve a problem, without engaging in a bitter, costly, years’-long lawsuit.
If only this process could be repeated in many thousands of other condo HOA disputes!
Repairs being made to woman’s home after 9 Investigates reports on black mold
By: Karla Ray, WFTV
Updated: Mar 6, 2019 – 6:44 PM
ORLANDO, Fla. – A 72-year-old woman missing half of her brain will have a safe place to live after 9 Investigates exposed major mold problems at her condominium that were not her fault.
Investigative reporter Karla Ray first reported on those issues last year, when owner Judy Young was given a demand letter to make repairs, even though the source of the leak was in another unit.
After the story aired, the community stepped up to help Young.