Paradise condo owner creates cautionary website
A condo owner in suburban St. John's has created a buyers beware website to ensure potential buyers don't go through the same nightmare she has.
"I'm suffering and I don't want anybody else to suffer," said Denise Murrin.
Murrin launched nlcondobuyersbeware after repeated problems with her $150,000 Paradise condo have gone unaddressed by her property's management board.
Her problems started on Oct. 17, 2009 when her patio door started to leak. She complained to Neil's Pond Condominium Corporation, the volunteer-staffed board which oversees her property, and asked to have it repaired.
"February 1, it was –19C degrees and they finally came in and put in the new patio door," said Murrin. "Water is still coming in."
Issues with her damaged door have been compounded by recent problems with a leaky bedroom window and deteriorating siding on her apartment's exterior wall — all things that Murrin says are considered "common elements", repairs the board is obligated to make.
"The condominium board has not once called me. Has not once come in here despite many invitations to come and sit down and say, 'OK, what can we do to resolve your problem?'" said Murrin. "Not once."
According to the corporation's bylaws, the damages that Murrin pointed out should be covered by the reserve fund — an account that all condo owners pay into and is partially collected from monthly condo fees.
The six month delay in repairing her leaky back door prompted Murrin to ask for financial statements to prove there is enough money in the account to cover the cost of repairs.
"If I request, as an owner, financial information in written form, which I have done, they have — according to the law — ten days to provide it to me," said Murrin.
"They have not."
Murrin said she is very concerned about her board's financial position since she has been waiting since March 9 for a financial update. Her repeated email requests to the board have all been posted on her website.
Murrin has now contacted the province's minister of government services, as well as her new MHA Paul Davis about the ongoing saga.
If nothing else, Murrin said she hopes her website will encourage people to know their rights as condo owners before they sign on the dotted line.
"As a condominium owner, you're basically giving up your condominium rights," said Murrin.
"In this particular condominium situation, you're not only giving up your rights as an owner, you're giving up your rights as a human being to live in a safe and healthy home."