I live and own my condo in Richmond Hill for the past two years. One month after I moved in, my ceiling started to leak. I was told by management that this had been a pre-existing problem and they thought they had fixed it. Within a month, they “fixed” the problem again and repaired my ceiling. The problem is with the penthouse terrace directly above me. One year later, I had a new leak in a different area. My stucco ceiling in different parts of my condo have been cracking, bubbling and chipping. The leaks happened sporadically but it was red in colour. After many arguments with management, they had informed me that the board was not approving the permanent repair of the problem (too costly).
I also started having problems in my solarium where the top window meets the concrete wall with cracking and bubbling and staining. It has since leaked like a waterfall and chunks of ceiling have fallen off. Two of the windows in the condo are also leaking when it rains. Water spilling on my hardwood floor and furniture.
After I was notified that the board was not approving the expense to fix the problems, I hired a lawyer. The lawyer has been involved for approx 8 months. About a month ago they began to “fix” the terrace above me. However, the solarium and windows have not been addressed nor have any repairs been done to my unit. The condo corporation lawyer was served with the lawsuit but did not respond within 20 days.
My lawyer noted them in default. They are now taking me to court for default costs. My questions are: 1) Do they have a valid claim against me? 2) Would a judge rule in their favour when they were clearly in default? 3) Am I fighting a losing battle by taking the corporation to court for the problems I am having? I am trying to understand if I am wasting my time (because the courts won’t rule in my favour) or if I’m wasting a lot of money with little possibility of being awarded anything in the end. Can you please help? My money is very limited so this is taking a financial toll on me but it seems the only way I can get things done. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you. Silvia
Sorry to hear about the problems you’re having, I wish I could say this was unique, and I haven’t heard from a reader before with this type of issue. But the reality is, problems happen in condos all the time, and some condos are very decisive and diligent, and some simply look to pass the buck, and stick the resident with the issue.
Unfortunately, I’m in no position to give you legal advice, and I don’t know the ins and outs of the situation, or how the condominium Declaration was written. Every condominium spells out what is common elements, and what belongs to the resident. Condominiums also have their own insurance policies, which may or may not include certain portions of common elements, and/or the residents own space.
It sounds to me like the condo is liable, but when it comes to civil litigation, it’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove. And often it’s who has deeper pockets.
I would advise you to listen to whatever your lawyer has to say on the matter, as he or she is the most informed, and anybody else is simply offering an uneducated opinion.