Everybody likes to save money right? When it comes to building maintenance one way to save money is to simply not have any work done. Just ignore the condition of your building and hope for the best. The only problem with this approach is that unless you can unload the unit to an unsuspecting buyer before disaster strikes you’ll be looking at a much larger repair bill.
And leaky condo problems aren’t exactly rare in Vancouver – just look at the recent news of repairs on two concord pacific towers downtown, or any other the other leaky condo repairs throughout the lower mainland.
Househunting.ca has a letter from someone whose strata opted for the ‘ignore it and hope for the best’ strategy:
Now our deferral has come back to haunt us. Each owner is faced with an average $19,000 assessment just to maintain and upgrade the exterior, not including the roof. Our windows have failed, our decks and balconies are in serious failure and the masonry detailing is in need of serious attention.
We have figured out that if each strata lot had paid an extra $30 per month over the past 34 years, our buildings would have been routinely repaired, the interest would have covered inflation costs, and we wouldn’t be doing this at a time when construction costs are at a record high.
Another problem with not getting basic maintenance done is that it will affect warranty coverage. Even if your building is under a New Home Warranty or covered by a rain screen repair warranty, your coverage is affected by your buildings maintenance record. Saving money in the short term can work out to be very expensive in the long term. A year ago you may have been able to unload a leaky condo without much of a loss, but as our market softens and the number of listings for sale grows this is less of an option.
Putting the problem unit on the market and praying for a sucker with good credit isn’t as effective as it once was.