Almost 100 condo owners in downtown Edmonton are facing huge repair bills less than seven years after moving into the new walk-up.
Each resident of the 93-unit Gates on Twelfth in Oliver Square could be paying as much as $40,000 to repair problems with the building, a few short years after paying between $190,000 and $300,000 for the condos.
"Where am I going to find that money?" asked owner Fay Pfleider. "Honestly I don't know."
Pfleider bought her new condo downtown about five years ago, a dream come true for the single mother and her son.
"It was beautiful," she said. "I was happy. It's in downtown. I can go to church quickly. And now it's like a nightmare."
Her ceiling stained, then started dripping.
The condo board eventually sent someone to patch it up, but she worried about the structure itself.
"I'm always scared that one of these days when I get up my wall will just collapse."
Other owners had similar problems. Independent engineers took a closer look and found problems throughout the complex that will cost $2.9 million to repair.
The condo board has hired a legal team which will meet with residents next month to figure out how they'll pay for the repairs.
The problem is just the latest in a condo crisis in Alberta, said Anand Sharma, president of the Canadian Condominium Institute.
Sharma says the province's widespread problem with condos built in the last 10 years comes from a lack of independent inspection for buildings that went up during the housing boom.
"Now (condo owners) are starting to get the deficiencies or see the deficiencies, and there's nowhere they can turn really ... and they're coming to us saying what can we do about it?"
Last month the province introduced legislation ordering builders to provide warranties for new homes.