Condominium HOA dysfunction roundup (October 2019)

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities


This month: U.S. and Canadian condo owners embroiled in litigation with developers; several condo complexes (still) plagued by defects and shoddy construction; another run-down, unsafe condo complex in the Sunshine State; un-permitted Vancouver condo renovation causes problems for neighboring unit owners.


Owners can’t sell condos with temporary occupancy permits

Readers might recall my previous IAC post: Kansas City: owners of ‘luxury’ condos frustrated by fire code violations, broken promises.

Well, surprise, surprise, nearly seven months later, and there’s still no peace of mind for owners of Park Reserve condominiums in Kansas City. Developer Wayne Reeder has not completed repairs in response to numerous city code violations.

The six-story building still has a broken elevator, making life very inconvenient for residents.

According to local reports, four unit owners are suing Reeder. And in a tit-for-tat move, Reeder is also suing the owner-controlled condo association.

The owners blame the developer for shoddy construction and poor workmanship. Owners also say that Reeder never delivered all of the ‘luxury’ amenities he promised to buyers at the time of sale.

But Reeder blames the condo association for mismanaging the association, and for not adequately maintaining the common areas. He reportedly calls the problems at Park Reserve an “inside job.”

In the meantime, frustrated owners cannot sell their units. Reeder can’t sell the vacant condos he still owns. Lenders won’t issue a mortgage for a condo with a temporary occupancy permit.

Even cash buyers shy away from a purchase when they find out about all of the pending lawsuits.

And owners cannot rent condos with unresolved safety violations.

Unfortunately, Park Reserve condo owners are stuck paying their mortgage, taxes, and condo fees for potentially unsafe condos, even if they have to move out.


Angry homeowners at troubled Park Reserve condos struggle to sell units
Posted: 5:59 PM, Oct 14, 2019
Updated: 5:31 PM, Oct 15, 2019
By: Sarah Plake | KSHB 41

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Park Reserve condominiums




Trash, cockroaches, rats, and raw sewage make these condos unlivable

Villas of Naranja, Miami-Dade County, is one of many aging, run-down condo complexes in U.S. cities. Nearly all of the units are rented for $1,200 a month. And, contrary to popular belief, most of its residents are not receiving Section 8 vouchers to help with rent payments.

WSVN 7 News has been following the plight of residents at Villas of Naranja for months. In a previous report, the news station documented several rat-infested condos. This month, condo owners complain of piles of trash and debris not picked up for three months. The grass is knee high, and many windows are broken.

Worst of all, a recently-foreclosed unit was leaking raw sewage into a neighboring unit, until the bad publicity nudged condo management to stop the leak, clean up the mess and board up the unit.

All of the other problems remain, however. Most of the residents are looking for a decent place to live — at a rent they can afford.

It’s a typical example of an obsolescent condominium with a severely dysfunctional condo association.

As usual, city leaders don’t seem to be taking action to correct the health and safety hazards at Village of Naranja. It’s up to the condo owners to fix all the problems. At this point, improved living conditions seem beyond reach.


Residents say sewage, trash and neglect make their Miami-Dade condo complex uninhabitable
OCTOBER 15, 2019 | 7 News Miami (WSVN) – Residents of a South Florida condo building say their complex is uninhabitable, and it’s not the first time 7News has exposed the problems. The Nightteam’s Brian Entin investigates.


Canada – Vancouver

Open concept remodel creates structural damage for condo owners

Here we have a perfect example of what can go wrong when your neighbor decides to do a home renovation without the proper permits.

When his downstairs condo neighbor took out some walls to create an open concept design in his unit, Wayne Morrissey started noticing large cracks in his ceilings and walls. The condo owner brought in a structural engineer, who opened up a wall in Morrissey’s unit to see what might be causing the problem.

The engineer determined that a downstairs neighbor removed supporting structure for the condo building.

Morrissey contacted his strata (condo) association and his insurance company. But, so far, neither have been helpful in resolving the situation. If his downstairs neighbor won’t accept responsibility for damages to Morrissey’s unit, the dispute could end up in court.

This sort of unauthorized condo unit renovation is common in the U.S. as well as Canada.


Reno gone wrong? Vancouver condo collapsing after neighbour went ‘open concept,’ owner says
Shannon Paterson, Reporter, CTV Vancouver
Published Wednesday, October 23, 2019 6:08PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 24, 2019 11:57AM PDT

Canada, Niagara Falls

Condo owners stuck with numerous construction defects, and not much help from city officials

Diane and Bob Wilson and many of their neighbors are disappointed and upset about numerous deficiencies they’ve discovered in their condo units and the common areas.

Most of the homes in the 70-unit complex are less than ten years old. But, according to attorney Andre Martin, who is representing the homeowners, the buildings and common drainage system were shoddily built.

Martin says deck footings are unstable, roof flashing is missing, fire walls have holes in them, and the entire community is plagued by poor stormwater drainage, flooding some homes and causing mold.

Fred Sacco, owner owner of Sacco Construction, says that the City has signed off on construction. Plus, Sacco has handed over management of the condo corporation to unit owners. As far as he’s concerned, it’s not his problem anymore.

City solicitor Donna Jaques says the city has limited power to intervene in legal disputes with the developer, and there’s little action they can take to fix problems at the condominium complex.

Condo owners say that there’s a conflict of interest, since Sacco is a building inspector for the City of Niagara Falls.

Looks like condo owners are headed to court. ♦


Niagara Falls condo owners say units plagued with deficiencies
City says it is an issue between the owners and developer
NEWS Oct 16, 2019 by Paul Forsyth ,  Ray Spiteri

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