Leaks plague condo dwellers - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Leaks plague condo dwellers

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) –  A handful of residents at a Chattanooga condo building dread rainy days. They say the water always leaks into their homes.

They claim it's the developer's fault, but nothing is being done to fix it.

They say they're getting the run-around to fix a problem which they say was caused by remodeling done by Atlanta-based Wilkinson Real Estate.  

Water leaks have produced costly damage and are causing a health hazard.

Home owner Barbara Zema hates the pitter-patter of raindrops. It means her beautiful hardwood floor will suffer more water damage--a problem she says she and her husband Michael have tolerated for far too long at the Pinnacle Condominiums.

"We've been living here--quote living here--for nine months and every time it rains we have water intrusion in our living room," said Zema.

They haven't been able to fully move in and have had to lay down a barrier of towels by the sliding glass doors anytime wet weather is in the forecast. They are 14 floors up.

"Beautiful view, lovely condo. However, I have to wear galoshes in here," said Zema with a chuckle. 

Dangerous mold has also formed on the flooring.

Zema says the developer, Atlanta-based Wilkinson real Estate Advisors, didn't disclose the full extent of the problem before signing. Wilkinson also renovated the balcony a while before the Zemas moved in, covering concrete with nicer looking tiles. This, says Zema, is what's causing the runoff.

"[The] tile on the balcony is higher than the tracks, the tracks are higher than the interior," explained Zema. "So water seeks its own level."

While insurance will help replace flooring, Zema was ultimately told the developer was responsible for a permanent fix. Her pleas with Wilkinson have fallen on deaf ears.

"Every time we have written letters--return receipt requested, etc., etc.--or made phone calls, we never get anything back," lamented Zema.

She knows of five other home owners in the building experiencing the same issue, some for a year or more, who continue to get the runaround.

While they may not have much of a legal leg to stand on due to boilerplate contracts and "survival clauses", they are adamant in believing Wilkinson is ethically responsible and should step up to the plate.

"How much of a big deal what it be to help the few of us who are in this situation?" wondered Zema.

To make matters worse, said Zema, Wilkinson has been replacing tile on the balconies of units currently for sale with thinner tiles. She said they're also replacing sliding glass doors. So why aren't they fixing the patios of existing residents?

"That's not asking too much," said Zema.

We are waiting on a statement from Wilkinson regarding the issue.

Until a resolution is reached, Zema and her neighbors won't give up. It'll take a lot to wash away their hopes. 

The Zemas know of at least five other home owners with the same problem who are also getting the run around.

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