Thursday, August 9, 2012

Perils of Condo Life in the City

I received a bill for $6,000 this week from my Condo Corporation

to be paid in three yearly $2,000 installments starting just before Christmas.

But I'm not alone.

Everyone in the complex got the same bill, plus or minus a few dollars depending on the size of their unit.

This is not a high end development.  It is at least 40 years old and as far as I can see most of the people who live here are retired, or lower wage earners, or new Canadians or families trying to save for a down payment for a larger home.

Good people.

My mother would have classified them as 'the salt of the Earth'.

Forty years ago unscrupulous builders, long gone by the way, built some of the units on unstable ground.

Now one of the units is condemned and 3 others need massive restoration.

Hence the bill we all received.

To say that people are upset would be an understatement.

The penalties for not paying are frightening,
especially for people who are just getting by
and may not understand what is going on because of language difficulties,
difficulties understanding the lawyer speak of the condo agreements,
or just the panic of not having an extra $6000 to kick around.

What happens when desperate people have not one penny to spare?

But people are trying. 
We are meeting and talking. 
Listening to each other.

A few leaders  have started to emerge.

I'm luckier, if you can classify it as being lucky, in that I may qualify for insurance coverage of the $6,000 but there is no guarantee and of course whatever we decide to do,

the problem remains that the complex is aging.

I'll keep you posted.
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