|Ron recently wrote to COLCO - "I'm in the process of buying a condo
and I would appreciate any information you can give me. A list of leaky
condos would be a good start. I would also appreciate a checklist of things
to look for when viewing a condo and any other information you might have
that would help me make an informed decision."
This document was compiled with input from leaky condo
owners, all of whom relied on the promises of the developers, contractors,
real estate agents, and the other organizations and people responsible
for the leaky rotten condo disaster.
If you want a guarantee, don't buy a condo. Doing all of the items listed
below will not guarantee a problem free experience. If you feel this is
too much to ask the consumer to undertake prior to buying a home, call
your provincial and federal government and demand a compensation package
for owners of 'leaky homes' so that you might be willing to buy a home
in British Columbia some day.
Help others make informed decisions - if you discover information about
leaky condos, report it to COLCO.
Use our Questionnaire and/or Send copies
of Strata Council Minutes and Engineering Reports to COLCO. (PO Box 16041
New Westminster, BC V3M 6W6).
Help COLCO help others to make informed decisions, send a $20 donation
COLCO Treasurer PO Box 16041 New Westminster,
BC V3M 6W6
Maintaining this web site and keeping the Leaky Rotten Condo List updated
is not cheap.
If we helped you, help us!
If you are going to buy a condo, ask for all of the Strata Council Meeting
minutes, going back to the beginning of the Strata.
Ask for the handwritten notes from the property manager (or recording secretary)
for all Strata meetings.
In our opinion, a responsible and proactive Strata Council will have hired
a properly qualified professional engineer to conduct a building envelope
Get a consulting engineer (a properly qualified P. Eng. with building envelope
training and experience) to inspect the building envelope survey. Ask the
consulting engineer to comment in writing as to the reliability of any
survey conducted. Make sure all engineers involved in any surveys
and reviews have errors and omissions insurance for building envelope failure.
Get an independent
building inspector to inspect the entire building. Read
this correspondence about the cozy relationship that exists between
many real estate agents and building inspectors.
If they claim that they are only doing "minor repairs", run away. From
our experience, "minor repairs" inevitably turn into major levies.
Ask for the expense books and look for large payments to construction and
Talk to everyone in the Strata if it isn't too big. If it's large, talk
to a wide range of people from different parts of the building.
Don't take the word of the Real Estate agent at face value. Have them put
all promises, claims, and assertions in writing.
Get everything in writing and have a lawyer review all claims and documents.
Hire a lawyer familiar with leaky condo issues.
If anyone claims that there are no leaks in the Strata, get it in writing.
Don't let them phrase it "we know of no leaks in the Strata".
Avoid buildings where the developer still has or has had any significant
influence over the Strata Council at any time.
Contact the Homeowners Protection Office about any Warranty claims. Ask
if the building permit was issued after July 1, 1999. Buildings built
with permits issued after this date fall under the Homeowners Protection
Act. Buildings built with permits issued before July 1, 1999 do not fall
under the act and any warranties offered are voluntary and may not be similar
to HPA requirements. One of the firms offering Warranties on homes
in BC termed the differences like "comparing a Volkswagen to a Mercedes".
Obtain and read the
HPO's Buying A New Home: A Consumer Protection Guide
Consider what this book has to offer