Infiltration and fungi in their new condos

News 12 February, 2018
  • Photo Marie-Ève Dumont
    Louis-Philippe Bouvier, Jean Bonin and Damian Garone, co-owners of condos that are taken with water infiltration.

    Marie-Eve Dumont

    Monday, 12 February, 2018 01:00

    Monday, 12 February, 2018 01:00

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    Water infiltration, mold and mildew, property owners who believed in buying new condo in Montreal must now evacuate their homes and cost millions of dollars to repair them all.

    “It is immense stress that we live with. I suffer from insomnia, my wife cries almost every day. I’m afraid I have to just hand over the keys “, drop Damian Garone, who owned one of the condos affected.

    The promoter Devler – Immeuble Le Spazio to build in 2012, condos on boulevard Saint-Laurent, in an existing building of Little Italy, Montreal. The building has been completely renovated and floors have been added.

    Less than five years later, the owners have found water infiltration major.

    “When I walked in, there was water that came out under my floors,” says Mr. Garone.

    On the 25 residential condos and five retail shops in the building, seven have been affected by water damage. Residents from four apartments were evacuated, but all the co-owners must assume the cost of repairs.

    “A part of the roof where there were terraces would have been badly built, which allowed the water to seep inside the walls. The windows have also been installed improperly and the façade would also leave the water to enter “, lists Jean Bonin, an owner, based on an appraisal report done on the state of their building.

    Respiratory problems

    A lawsuit has already been filed, including against the developer, the architect, the construction contractor and the manufacturer of windows and doors.

    Mr. Garone and his wife are among those who have had to leave because of the presence of mold, mildew, and fungi that cause respiratory problems.

    “I have to pay my mortgage, my rent, two accounts of electricity in addition to my fresh condo and taxes. I also made another loan to the bank. I don’t know how long I will be able to hold like this, ” let there be fall.

    Another co-owner, Eve Desrosiers, and his 9 year old son have also had health problems that forced them to leave their condo last August.

    “It is as if we always had a flu that didn’t leave and we had begun to bleed from the nose “, says the young single mother, who must sell furniture to pay his share of repairs to the building.

    Invoice of$3.5 Million

    The co-owners have already paid out nearly $ 450,000, for, among others, redoing the roof and perform expertise in order to assess the magnitude of the problem.

    They are not at the end of their sentence, as the decontamination and reconstruction of housing affected will also need to be carried out, in addition to other repairs to ensure the integrity of the building. The bill, therefore, could climb up to $ 3.5 million.

    “This is the first condo that we bought and we are stuck with thousands of dollars to pay. It brings us so much stress, then, that companies continue to make plans and build, ” said Louis-Philippe Bouvier, another co-owner.

    Contacted by The Newspaper, the sponsor has preferred not to comment.

    No inspections on several buildings

    The co-owners of the condos in The Spazio – Saint-Laurent, denounced the fact that no one in authority came to check the quality of the construction before they take possession of their housing.

    “How can we give a building permit and does not come and inspect then to ensure that it is consistent with reality ? Nobody looks, nobody knows what they are doing, ” said Louis-Philippe Bouvier, one of the co-owners affected.

    M. Bouvier and the other co-owners argue that with the help of experts, they have found that much of the work carried out on their vessel does not comply with the building Code and do not correspond to the construction plan that has been submitted to the borough for the granting of the permit.

    A vacuum

    “Nobody checks the quality of the building in Quebec, except for some new construction, there is a gap,” confirms the lawyer specializing in condominiums, Yves Joli-Coeur.

    The cities do not check systematically whether the plans submitted have been executed. The Régie du bâtiment, which gives licenses to contractors, does not have the mandate to inspect.

    “We work on the application, it is necessary that a citizen sees that something is not compliant, it must communicate with us and the inspector will come on site,” explains Marie-Claude Perreault, a spokesman for the borough of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie.

    Only the new construction of four stacked units or less are inspected systematically by a non-profit organization called Warranty of residential construction. The organization follows the regulations provided for in the building Act, which protects buyers from major defects, hidden defects or other.

    Still… the courts

    The great towers with condos or major renovations, as is the case for the people of the Spazio–Saint-Laurent, are not subject to this regulation, and it is not mandatory for contractors to subscribe to a guarantee of private.

    The owners thus do not have any other choice than to turn to the courts to assert their right. Many companies create separate companies for each of their projects in order to divide the financial risk if there is a prosecution, explain to Me Joli-Coeur. It even happens that some of them are closing the company when the project is finished. It becomes complex to execute the judgment.

    The Newspaper has not been able to contact the Régie du bâtiment to this topic.