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Owners face hefty repair bill on leaky condos

Condo owners are facing a large repair bill for a newer southwest Calgary building that is already leaking.

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Repair work is already underway at Bella Vista Condominiums. CBC
Condo owners are facing a large repair bill for a newer southwest Calgary building that is already leaking.

An inspection at the Bella Vista Condominiums on 14 A Street in the neighbourhood of Bankview turned up building code violations, said Liberal MLA Ken Hehr.

Residents say an inspection at the Bella Vista Condominiums turned up building code violations. (CBC)
Owners are facing bills of between $77,000 and $189,000 each to pay for repairs to the roof, eaves, balcony and parkade in a building where a one bedroom penthouse suite is currently listed for sale at $317,000.

"These homeowners should not be having to deal with this problem at this time," said Hehr Tuesday.

Mohsan Najati bought his condo two years ago and soon noticed leaks. He said he can't afford the repairs.

"I'm already in debt, so I don't have any options," he said. "I already have a second mortgage. I don't have equity. I don't have any cash. I don't have anything. So I am already actually foreclosed."

Hehr said other owners he has talked to are contemplating bankruptcy. "This is a serious, life changing event for people. It's very tragic."

Al Sajan, whose company 7 Sevens built the condo complex, said he is surprised to hear the complaints.

He told CBC News he followed building codes and passed all inspections.

"If you buy a car and 10 years later your engine goes bonkers, you can't go back to the car manufacturer and say your car isn't built right," he said.

Condo owner Tricia Stephens said the leaking started soon after the building was finished. She owes $88,000 for her share of the repairs.

"The whole situation was untenable, kind of unbelievable actually," she said. "It's a huge amount of money."

Albertans not protected, says MLA

People who buy new homes and condos presume that they are protected by Alberta government regulations, Hehr said.

"We've seen substandard condo projects and building projects go up in time of a boom and there is still no government act or regulations on the books to protect homeowners and that's what I am most disappointed about."

New homes and condos in Alberta are only covered under a one-year warranty, which isn't enough, he said.


  • CBC initially reported that Bella Vista Condominiums was built within the last four years. In fact, residents say construction started in 2001.

    Jun 27, 2011 11:40 PM MT

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