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Claim: condos in Celebration, Florida plagued by construction defects

Many of our readers are likely familiar with Celebration, Florida, the Disney-themed community in Osceola County near the Walt Disney World Resort. The town, which is associated with Disney, is often described as a suburban utopia, and is often viewed with the suspicion of that those terms typically invoke. There are a variety of reasons for this, but one has to do with the poor construction of some of the town's structures, which has drawn it bad publicity.  

The town currently has 105 condos, as well as 4,000 single-family homes. Although the condominium structures initially boasted a dreamy idyllic exterior, many of the buildings are now riddled with construction problems. Among these problems are leaky roofs, spreading mold, and unstable, unusable balconies. Poor choice of materials and shoddy construction work are blamed for the problems. 

The structural problems are bad enough that the condo owners' association filed a lawsuit earlier this year against Lexin Capital, which took control of part of the town in 2004, requesting that the company pay for up to $20 million in repairs. That's not to say all properties in Celebration have major problems, but enough of its residents are affected that the condo owners' association feels it has the right to get involved.

Florida law is clear in identifying the rights and obligations of developers and condominium associations, and of requirements that must be met in cases involving allegations of defects. Condominium owners and condo associations don't need to have solid guidance on such matters, not only to avoid liability, but also to know what steps to take when their own rights have been infringed.

We'll continue looking at this topic in our next post.  

Source: Gizmodo.com, "Celebration, Florida: The Utopian Town That America Just Couldn't Trust," Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan, April 2014. 

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