FLORIDA – Orlando Metro West condo complex faces millions in code-violation fines

Orlando Sentinel:  Orlando Metro West condo complex faces millions in code-violation fines
By Mary Shanklin
September 20, 2015
Orlando’s biggest challenge with building-safety violations isn’t in a blighted area. It’s a manicured MetroWest condo community where landscapers weed and security guards check guests.The English-themed Hamptons community of 743 condominiums faces $4 million in code-enforcement fines for violations — the largest tab in the city, according to Orlando officials.

“Some of it is as much the responsibility of the individual owners as anything,” said Mike Rhodes, who oversees code enforcement for Orlando. “Obviously part of the challenge is associated with operating a property that’s that big.”

Behind the fountains and gated entry are electrical hazards resulting from exposed and broken conduit lines, ceilings split from water damage, a collapsed driveway, an eroding building foundation, excessive mold and mildew, and rotted porch railings, according to recently filed code violations.

The problems have been so severe that Orange County Circuit Judge Lisa T. Munyon earlier this year categorized units at the Hamptons as “unfit for human habitation” because of “catastrophic water intrusion damages.” Engineering reports showed 90 percent of the units showed some type of damage. In an ongoing case, the judge cited $70 million in needed repairs and ordered developers to pay the condo owners association $40 million. The association “has uncovered systemic building code violations which has caused and continues to cause catastrophic property damage,” Munyon wrote in her February judgment against Epoch Properties and Park Avenue at Metrowest Ltd.  Read more:

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