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Condominium residents lives made harder by damage payment dispute

The bustling community of Melbourne, Florida, has a plethora of real estate developments. Those include commercial properties and residences that range from mansions to condominiums. When things goes wrong with them, the things that go wrong always come with a price, and someone has to pay. That results in real estate litigation.

Hurricane Matthew severely damaged three buildings of a condominium association. The buildings, all eight-story towers with individual condominium units, overlook the Halifax River, and have a view of the Granada Bridge. Most of the residents of the condominiums are of retirement age, who view the buildings as their long-term homes and want them to be in the best condition possible.

Unfortunately, Hurricane Matthew damaged the roofs of the buildings, and water got into some areas of the ground floor, presenting a potential mold problem. That is when the situation got very complex very fast.

The condominium association made an arrangement with a disaster recovery company. The disaster recovery company said that they would take care of everything once the insurance claim was signed over to them by the condominium association. Then, the disaster recovery company told residents to evacuate their condominiums, alleging that mold was widespread and that sections of walls of every unit would need to be replaced. Many residents had doubts about that claim.

The insurance company disputed what was needed and what was covered by the insurance policy. This resulted in a protracted legal battle, with the insurance claim exceeding the insurance coverage limit by $11 million. The residents are feeling very disenfranchised and unable to address the situation. Some have paid their own money for repairs that were supposed to be covered by the condominium association through the insurance. Naturally, everyone involved wants the matter to be resolved as expediently as possible.

Source: The Daytona Beach News-Journal, "Ormond Heritage condos languish under a legal cloud," Mike Finch II, Jan. 18, 2018

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