Everything that the Walt Disney company builds is not the happiest place on earth. For example, residents who live in the Disney themed condominium community in Celebration, Florida have been suffering from leaky roofs, boarded windows, blue tarps, water damage and worst of all, toxic mold spreading within their walls.
In this Magic Mold Kingdom, Celebration’s residents aren’t doing much celebrating.
It is so bad, they cannot sell their properties and now the condo association is suing Lexin Capital, who took control in 2004 to pay for upward of $15 million to $20 million in repairs.
WFTV 9 News had reported in February:
Residents said they have to pay for repairs even though the damage wasn’t their fault.
Ruth Uffelman, 91, has her windows boarded up and lives beneath a tarp as a result of the construction to fix water damage on the roof of the Celebration Town Center Condos.
Owners are responsible for damage to their individual units, but Lexin Capital, which is repairing the damage on the outside of the building, is who residents blame for the mess.
“Lexin, since 2004 when they bought these buildings, has failed in a massive way to perform preventative maintenance. That’s what has allowed it to get to this situation,” resident Cookie Kelly said.
Residents said Lexin is trying to force owners to pay an assessment, based on the size of their condo, for the repairs.
Kelly, who lives in a 1,200-square-foot unit, said she’d have to pay $38,000 this year and can’t afford that.
Residents said their condo association has already paid millions in dues to the company and maintaining the building has always been the company’s responsibility.
The Wall Street Journal reports this week:
Leaking condo roofs are draped with blue tarps, balconies are buttressed with temporary beams, mold is blooming inside apartments and columns holding up some buildings are rotting, residents said.
“They’re harassing my team every day. They’re cursing them,” Mr. Negrin said of the residents. “It’s easy to ask for everything new when you’re not paying for it.” He said the condo association has shirked its responsibility over the years to pay its dues for upkeep of the buildings, demanding he do all of the work.
While Disney hired world-famous architects to design many of the buildings, the company neglected the basic integrity of the structures, Mr. Negrin said. Balconies slope toward some buildings instead of away from them, and some walls are lined with nylon, which traps the water and causes rotting.
“No amount of maintenance could have avoided these kinds of issues because it wasn’t built properly. We feel we are victims here too,” he said.
Disney said it owned the buildings in the town center for about eight years and didn’t experience structural problems. The company said it hadn’t had responsibility for maintenance since the sale.