First Half 2017 Condo Association Horror Stories


Better Condo Life is dedicated to helping Condo Owners, Board members, and Management have the best Condo experience possible.  Informed and involved Ownersgood Board members and engaged Management will lead a great community.  Sometimes, however, Condo Associations face tough times.  These might be anything from construction defects or issues due to negligence or corruption.  Here are the first half of 2017 Condo Association horror stories from around the globe.  

Big Construction Defects

Covered in the February news roundup.  Original story by Bloomberg.

The Millennium Tower may be sinking, but it does look awesome.

One of the biggest Condo Association stories of the past year has been the $750M luxury Millennium Tower.  Unfortunately, due to perhaps the biggest of all Condo defects – the Millennium Tower is, in fact, sinking.  The exact cause remains unknown, but it is postulated to be due to construction by the nearby California utilities.  

How to Make Sure it Doesn’t Happen to You

Construction defects are a challenging issue.  You should always carry out your due diligence, but many construction defects can take time to reveal themselves.  This is one reason there are advantages to buying in an established property.  If your Association is facing such a challenge, make sure you have good technical representation to help provide the best path forward.

Condo Fraud – Before Ground is Even Broken

Featured in the April Bonus Mailing – Sign up here for the Better Condo Life mail list.  Original story by Lash Condo Law.

Make sure you trust the person you’re giving a deposit to.

Your Condo life starts when you’re looking at real estate.  An informed Owner will make sure they are carrying out their due diligence on Bylaws, Associations, and governance for a new Condo.  This story showed a worst case that can happen before new Condo construction has even broken ground – embezzlement of deposits.  This is a sad story of corruption, although the perpetrator was at least brought to justice.

How to Make Sure it Doesn’t Happen to You

Before signing over any large checks to a project that has yet to break ground, make sure to do your due diligence.  Find out if the Developer has a proven track record – is this their first project, or their 100th?  Ask what financial safeguards will be in place for your deposit, such as embezzlement insurance and an escrow account.  Find out under what terms you can get your deposit back.  Make sure the answers are satisfactory and consistent before you sign away a five-figure (or more) check.

Collapsing Balconies Due to Poor Maintenance

Featured in the June Bonus Mailing – Sign up here for the Better Condo Life mail list.  Original story by ABC6.  

Condo Owners in Columbus, Ohio, were shocked one day when a Condo balcony fell off and crushed a car beneath it.  Fortunately, no one was injured.  Unfortunately, every single one of the Condo’s balconies was condemned pending further inspection.  The Condo was relatively new – constructed in 2006.  However, the balconies appear to have never been comprehensively inspected.  

How to Make Sure it Doesn’t Happen to You

Your building needs to ensure that all major systems are well cared for.  You need a preventative maintenance plan that ensures that your critical systems are well-maintained.  Make sure your Association is proactive, not reactive, when it comes to maintenance.    


There are many challenges that Associations face. The lessons from this edition of 2017 Condo Association Horror Stories is that you need to be proactive, not reactive.  Whether you are an Owner, Board member, or Management, make sure you’re doing everything you can to lead a better condo life.

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