Water problems in New West condo

Chilled wrote the following in this weekends thread:

Condo Boom?

I live in a high end New West condo that is approximately 3yrs old. They have recently had another major ‘flood.’ Fortunately I live on a floor well above the high water mark and my unit hasn’t suffered damage. Damages has been extensive. Being a renter I am not privy to the strata minutes, but I have had discussions with strata members and believe my information to be accurate.

“Defective expansion joints” are blowing out, causing main water lines to let go. Yikes!!! The strata has posted notices that “faulty expansion joints” are going to all be replaced.

Faulty? Yeah sure, probably installed by a “plumbers apprentice” without enough experience supervised by a journeyman who is hardly competent himself. As a tradesman myself, expansion joints just don’t ‘fail.’ Especially at an alarming rate and if they did, wouldn’t this be going on everywhere the product was installed leading to a subsequent recall?

Anyway, get this;

-the developer is the property management company
-the engineering company works for the developer
-the mechanical contractor works for the developer

Strata members tell me it is “warranty” but when I query them on who pays for the cleanup and restoration costs I’m told they are “not sure yet.” Basically, this will cost the strata hugh one way or the other.

Hey, any of the strata members reading this will recognize the building so read this carefully;

call in a mechanical consulting engineer specializing in piping. You will have to bring someone in from out of province, maybe Alberta. The old boys club in Vancouver will prevent independent and impartial analysis
FIRE the development company acting as the strata property management company. Do you see a conflict here as the building inches through the warranty period?
take the engineering report to a legal firm willing to take the developer to task on this
pursue the same avenue with all the other problems in the building. It is not normal to have the elevator service company on site as much as the mail man.

Finally, please stop telling us renters in the elevator “I wish I rent like you” as I know you drank the koolaid and made stupid decisions that will cost you for the rest of your lives.

But if you do happen to see the owner of my unit at an emergency strata meeting, please thank him for what is a huge rental subsidy.

Sign me,

Happily above the high tide mark.

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Peter
Peter
8 years ago

Having seen the failed joints myself – I have to say that this component appears defective. There are other contributing factors to the failure though.

A correction on the renter's rant. Yes the property manager is the developer, but no the engineers and contractors have no other relationship with the developer other than what they were contracted to do for this particular building.

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[…] I work with has bought a house. None of them are Chinese. You people have to get out more.” – WhatProblem at vancouvercondo.info 12 Dec 2011 3:45pm Share:TwitterFacebookRedditStumbleUponDigg This entry was posted in 01. He Said, She Said, 05. […]

patriotz
8 years ago

@DEFAULT NAMEe:

"“If we adjust for this factor, the debt ratio of U.S. households exceeds that of their Canadian counterparts by 12 per cent.”’

Gee that's comforting.

But remember that mortgage interest in the US is tax deductible and it's not here, so after tax US households in aggregate are likely to be paying less of their income on debt servicing. Also a great deal of US household debt is locked into low rates in long term mortgages, which Canada doesn't have. So Canadian households face much greater risk from rising interest rates.

VMD
VMD
8 years ago

China's RE is in the beginning of government-enforced downward spiral. (2012 will see the price drops in full force) Stock market also plummeting in China: As of tonight, Shanghai Index: -26% and dropping since Apr/11 Hang Seng Index: -25% and dropping since Apr/11 http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/q/ta?s=000001.SS&… Multitude of other indicators pointing to marked slowing of Chinese economy next year (the debate is whether the landing will be "soft" or "hard"). On Chinese forums there are more and more people talking about pulling their unsuccessful listings off the market in hope of re-listing during the "Chinese New Year" bounce (CNY = Jan 23). I've tried to be the voice of reason on the two main Chinese forums and created a thread discussing Van RE stats. Over the last 4 months it had garnered ~20k views on Westca forum and ~11.5k views on Iask.ca… Read more »

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
8 years ago

@mmp:

"get everyone in the strata to…."

Why would anybody in the strata take the advice of a renter in the building who has no financial stake in the outcome, and who won't be paying for the extra legal and engineering work they're recommending? If they want to influence the strata they should buy a unit in the building and cast their vote like everybody else. If I was an owner in that building I'd be seriously angry if a non-owner was interfering in such a manner.

mmp
mmp
8 years ago

The laws are piled up deep and wide against strata councils and in favour of developers.

TRY THIS: get everyone in the strata to take the developer, etc to Small Claims Court, separately. Sue back the money they will have to pay, and loss of property value. It's been done before :-)) and it costs the developers a fortune in legal fees (N copies of everything).

that gets their attention, and to the mediation table.

going to Supreme Court will cost you a fortune, and you may end up owing money ! it's that bass-ackwards. and of course the developers know that …

OF COURSE, do the other things you said as well. but if our experience is any guide, get used to making trips to Robson Square …

VMD
VMD
8 years ago

I was googling Canadian finance sector lay-off stats when I came across this U.S. based site http://www.dailyjobcuts.com

It actually lists Canadian firms as well, such as

– 12/2/2011 Sun Life expected to cut 50 management level positions and 40 other corporate jobs in Canada

– 12/9/2011 Sterling Shoes Inc. says it plans to close 53 stores in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario — about one-third of its current locations

However it did miss what I was initially searching for:

– 12/10/2011- Royal Bank, BMO laid off 1,362 workers during fourth quarter

http://www.timescolonist.com/business/Royal+Bank+

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

@DEFAULT NAMEe: How about the UK? Higher taxes there, no?

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
8 years ago

'At first glance, personal disposable income levels appear much lower in Canada than in the United States. Mr. Arseneau attributes that to higher tax levels in Canada that are used, in part, to fund our national health care system. Americans, meanwhile, must allocate nearly 20 per cent of their personal disposable income to paying for health care, he says. “If we adjust for this factor, the debt ratio of U.S. households exceeds that of their Canadian counterparts by 12 per cent.”'

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/per

I'm not suggesting this person knows more than the governor of the Bank of Canada, I just find the alternate way of interpreting the figures interesting.

VMD
VMD
8 years ago

[Canadians ‘consuming’ beyond means: Mark Carney]

Dec 12, 2011 10:26 PM ET

– Carney's on a streak of household-debt-warning speeches of late. Is he paving the way for mortgage rule changes in 2012??

"…Carney said that Canada's relatively low public and business debt present a unique opportunity to build a stronger economy for the future.

But he cautioned once again that Canadian households need to end their spending splurge, particularly on homes, now that their debt levels have reached 149 per cent of income, a higher figure than in the U.S. or Britain."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2011/12/12/

Oilman
Oilman
8 years ago

Another story from the Chinese economic miracle…..more to come. I guarantee it.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/sin

Yalie
Yalie
8 years ago

Faulty? Yeah sure, probably installed by a “plumbers apprentice” without enough experience supervised by a journeyman who is hardly competent himself. As a tradesman myself, expansion joints just don’t ‘fail.’ Especially at an alarming rate and if they did, wouldn’t this be going on everywhere the product was installed leading to a subsequent recall? Although I would never doubt the opinion of an expert (and btw I don't count mortgage brokers or REALTORs as "experts"), I wonder if this might actually be a case of faulty parts over incompetent labour. My rental unit in a very new building has also had a number of problems, especially with the plumbing. In discussions with the property manager as well as other tenants, the phrase "cheap Chinese parts" has come up on multiple occasions. Interestingly, the same problem WAS occurring in multiple units,… Read more »

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
8 years ago

Perhaps Chilled should ask his landlord for their proxy vote at the next AGM

? LOL.

patriotz
8 years ago

@Best place on meth:

"Federal reserve report: Home flipping drove housing bubble in Nevada, California, other states:"

Gee ya think?

They could have just printed off a few pages from the archives of HBB, Mish, or Calculated Risk for 2005.

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

@fixie guy:

"So you challenge me for specific building codes"

Yup, still waiting…

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

@Makaya:

"Here is my daily press review about China"

Thanks. If you spent as much time looking for a job as you do posting this drivel you might actually find work one day. Get a life.

jesse
8 years ago

Elusive freako captured. The Second Coming. BUY GOLD!!!1!

Best place on meth
Best place on meth
8 years ago

Federal reserve report: Home flipping drove housing bubble in Nevada, California, other states:

http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/federal-report-h

Best place on meth
Best place on meth
8 years ago

@WhatProblem:

Fantastic.

So who's left out there to buy?

WhatProblem
WhatProblem
8 years ago

All my friends and everyone I work with has bought a house. None of them are Chinese.You people have to get out more.

fixie guy
fixie guy
8 years ago

27 DEFAULT NAME Says: "Maybe you could tell us where the code violations are?"

Maybe you don't understand the purpose of building codes. It's to protect buyers from exactly what they're suffering in Vancouver's Olympic residential centrepiece. Warranties aren't relevant. The world's spot light still produces this unqualified dump, a pretty safe indicator of what happens outside it.

"Most of the stories with the OV workmanship are the result of the buyers paying too much and looking for recourse in other ways."

So you challenge me for specific building codes on a structure renowned for problems and then toss out this wondrous piece of mind reading?

Makaya
Makaya
8 years ago

Here is my daily press review about China 🙂 If some of you were wondering how Mainland Chinese people, who are not officially allowed to "export" huge chunk of money, here is one way of doing it, as explained by the Economist: A window on China What an offshore gambling mecca reveals about business in China "Macau’s success is not built purely on the Chinese love of gambling. It is also fuelled by a stampede of nervous money fleeing the mainland. A look behind the scenes at Macau reveals a lot about Chinese corruption, and also about how scared many Chinese businessfolk are about the political climate back home." (…) High-flyers who gamble with borrowed money in private rooms, known as VIPs, contributed around 72% of Macau’s $23.5 billion in revenues last year (see chart). Because gambling is illegal in… Read more »

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
8 years ago

@Hubert:

"Sorry no, don’t agree. Unless his landlord, as owner of one unit, is personally responsible for the state of the plumbing in the entire building and can fix the problem single handed."

No, the owner isn't personally responsible for the state of the plumbing nor can he fix it single-handed. That's a total strawman on your part. However, the owner of the unit – his landlord – is the one who should be dealing with the strata.

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

@fixie guy:

"See flagship of Vancouver buildings below"

Maybe you could tell us where the code violations are?

The warranty starts when the unit is sold. The OV will be under warranty for many years to come until way after the last unit is sold. Most of the stories with the OV workmanship are the result of the buyers paying too much and looking for recourse in other ways. I am not saying the buildings are well built, but if prices had not been cut we wouldn't be hearing so many complaints. If there were truly so many problems you would bring in an independent engineer and make a warranty claim, then sue if not resolved. You would not be going to the media to file a complaint.

mattymatt123
mattymatt123
8 years ago

@DEFAULT NAME

That's Right! My landlord tried to raise rent by $300. We said we would leave, they tried to get others, but no takers at an insane price. So we stay at reasonable below mortgage cost!