Friday, July 02, 2021

Condo Hell

Above my pay grade a bit, but it always seemed to me that the institutional/financial organization of condos was not conducive to maintaining them long term.
If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard more about how those problems play out in deteriorating condo projects, it’s because there weren’t many … until now. The law that established the condominium as a concept in American law turns 60 this year. Champlain Towers South turned 40 this year. An entire generation of buildings is moving from middle age to old age, a time in life that requires complex and expensive decisions for condominiums just as it does for humans. And those decisions will be left up to people like you or me.

“Essentially what we’ve done is take some very sophisticated infrastructure and handed it off to laypeople, most of whom have no experience with maintaining it or determining the condition of it,” said Tyler Berding, a California lawyer whose firm works with hundreds of homeowners associations. The condo board is charged both with committing to repair work and raising the money to pay for it, often against the wishes of skeptical, penny-pinching neighbors.