Marina Del Rey Condominium $15 Lawsuits, Toronto

The Toronto Waterfront area can be a beautiful place to live. I thought all my dreams had come true when I moved in to my condominium 23 years ago. It has the most spectacular view of this city! However, I soon discovered that purchasing this property would become my biggest nightmare! I have now been homeless for 13 years!

This is a cautionary tale about what happens to a condo owner at Marina Del Rey Phase I, 2261 Lake Shore Blvd. W, who is forced to commence legal action in an effort to rebuild her home after years of continuous water flooding problems, mismanagement, neglect of duties, and bad faith displayed by insurance companies.

I have started this blog with the hope that I can provide help and encouragement to others who find themselves in a similar situation. Insurance companies and corporations have lots of money and lawyers to fight us. However, we have the power of the internet and the social media to connect, support each other, and exchange helpful information.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Unbelievable, Directors want to Spend Reserve Fund on Redecorating!

Marina Del Rey condo owners, you could lose your insurance coverage too!  I urge you to come forward and speak up, write a letter or send an email to the Board of Directors.  It is not too late, we can still make a difference, let's stick together.  This blog is not just about informing, it is also about making change. 

I really fear getting flooded again, I still have a mould problem in my walls (my neighbour is concerned too), my ventilation system is not working resulting in poor air quality and impaired lung function.  I have experienced 8 plumbing related floods since June 2000 and continuously leaking windows.  Although my windows and frames were replace under Order by the City of Toronto in 2012,  I still see signs of water damage on the drywall and window sill because building envelope problems have not been solved.  There are other leaking windows around me and water penetrates the walls and floods the units below. 

I have repeatedly attempted to rebuild my condo only to have it destroyed again.  My insurance company would no longer provide me coverage due to "high risk" of another flood.  When I tried to get insurance elsewhere, one of the first things they asked was have I had any claims, flooding or fire incidents over the past 5 years?  Yes, continuously. My unit remains destroyed with no kitchen or finished bathroom.  Which means, no insurance company would want to offer me coverage.  Some brokers I called were well aware of condo problems and when they looked up my name and address from some data base, they said they could not provide me coverage..

A special meeting was held on April 8, 2013 to discuss the Lawsuits against the building, Redecorating Plans, and Leaking Pipes.  I thought finally I was going to be vindicated!  Maybe even get an apology...

Instead, I found out that the condo corporation doesn't have to worry about the huge legal fees that will result when this matter goes to trial, its all covered by insurance! 

Mismanagement, neglect of duties, failure to act... its all covered by insurance.  No one is held accountable.  Board Members are volunteers.   When I ask questions, I am told it is in the lawyers' hands or we will discuss it at the next Board meeting.  I never get answers.  Management does have training and knows what is right from wrong.  However, I have often been told that their hands are tied, they can only do what the Board tells them to do.
So instead of fixing the defective windows which leak when it rains, or replacing all the remaining old risers and plumbing pipes, the Board of Directors announced plans to go ahead, spend almost our entire reserve fund on redecorating the common areas of our building!  Where are their priorities?  I know some of the Directors have had floods in their units and another has experienced problems with leaking windows.  

I am not the only person who is concerned about plans to redecorate. At the last annual general meeting, a former Director was concerned about the budget and why redecorating was being done at this time when there are other building issues that need our attention.  An owner on a lower floor was concerned about floods and when will all the risers be completely replaced.  The President replied, not until 2018, that is when it is scheduled according to the reserve plan study.  The former President then pointed out that over $60,000 a year was being spent on drywall and paint repairs as a consequence of flooding.  What does this translate into personal insurance claims?  When they replace the risers in 2018, aren't they going to make a complete mess of the common areas, rip open the ceilings and drywall such as in the photo above taken during the 2009 plumbing project.  Is the Board ordering extra wall paper to replace the stuff that is going to be ripped down in 2018?  Shouldn't we be doing this messy construction work first, stopping the floods, then redecorating?

Some people suggest, why don't you just move out?  Others say fight for what you think is right, we support you, we agree with you.  Why should I move out?  This has been my home since 1991.  Why doesn't the corporation fix the leaking problems.  Why doesn't the condo's insurer help me to rebuild my home?  I have an amazing view and I would love to continue living here if possible.

So Members of the Board, do we really need our lobby redecorated?  I think it looks great as is, warm, bright, inviting.

Why are you trying to transform the look of our building into something like this?  And is it really necessary? 

My condo unit door is fine, and looks nice.  Why are you changing all the doors to dark brown?

What is with the grey and white modern colour scheme.  It suits one of those modern glass condo towers downtown, not our building.  If you really want to live in a building like this, why not move downtown or to one of the new glass tower condos being built along the Lake.

But then I hear they have their share of water penetration and plumbing problems too!  Check out this website:  City Place: What went wrong?

Lots more stories of condo nightmares at City Place, Grand Harbour, and other Toronto Condo buildings.

Board of Directors, shouldn't we be replacing the all the remaining hot and cold risers, and shut off valves in our building?  A unit two doors away from me had a flood in October as a consequence of a failed shut off valve and then another flood in December 2012. A unit  above me had a flood in the laundry area due to another pin hole leak = failed water pipe.    Do you want more residents to go through this experience? 
Residents should not have to put up with mould in our walls, flooring, or leaking windows!

Having your condo unit hit by a flood from a failed pipe or water valve is devastating.  Your life is turned upside down dealing with insurance companies, finding a place to live for your family and pet while they rebuild your home.  The time spent picking out new decor, furniture, clothes, and personal belongings may seem like fun to some - but trust me, when it happens all at once and you are not prepared for it, it is devastating.  It is a distraction from work, social relationships, and family.  It is stressful and can be depressing.

Going through the court process of fighting an insurance company is no fun and games either.  They will drag things out, try to make it look like it is all your own fault, try to wear you down.  But don't give up!  We need to fight back.  Set a new precedent. Eventually I hope they learn a lesson and this never happens to anyone else ever again!  This has been such a terrible nightmare and I just want it all to end and to get my home and my life back.

1 comment:

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