Punctured by woodpeckers

July 20, 2016 - The contingency fund is an essential kitty for any co-ownership. The recent misadventure of a group of co-owners in Kelowna, British Columbia, reminds us that it could be used well before the common portions reach the end of their life expectancy.

The said co-owners association   had to spend $ 225,000, prematurely on account of substantial damage to its building facades caused by woodpeckers (maybe   the offspring of the  infamous Woodywoodpecker ). These birds have literally eaten away all the outer cladding.

Facades were covered with a Styrofoam and fiberglass mesh composite, coated with stucco cement of polymer and acrylic. Woodpeckers pierced over 300 holes, to attract other types of birds to nest. The idea was for woodpeckers, to wait for hatching and then feast.

This well-orchestrated strategy  generated  broken eggs by the dozen , over and above   multiple scrap materials littering  the balconies, the  adjacent land  to the building of  151 condos and  also the pool.  The damage seriously affected the value of the apartments.

To prevent a second wave of attacks fomented by Woodpeckers, the syndicate recently rebuilt the cladding, replacing the fiberglass with steel mesh.  It is believed that this material will be a deterrent to birds, especially woodpeckers. Unfortunately for the co-owners, their insurance does not cover this type of loss. They are out of pocket for the damages.

If this event had occurred in Ontario, says Lash / Condo Law, things would have probably been different. Section 93 of the Condominium Act (1998) provides, inter alia, that in case of reserve fund insufficiency, a syndicate may borrow money for major repairs, provided the declaration of co-ownerships allows it. It may be a less painful option than traditional special assessments.   

Anyway, this story teaches us that uncontrollable external events may occur and outwit forecasts. When this happens, it is in the best interest of a co-ownership   not to be unprepared, as it could end up in a very awkward situation.

Montreal, July 20, 2016

Source: Lash / Condominium Law