THE SAD "VENTNOR B" STORY

An Opinion By Jan Bergemann 
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.

Published January 2, 2018

There are many “sad” condo stories I have seen over the years. But the story of the condo owners from “VENTNOR B” – one of the many condo “stories” I heard over the years – is about the worst anybody can ever imagine.

The story of Ventnor B – a so-called “garden-condo building” in Century Village East in Deerfield Beach – began on July 7, 2005 when a devastating fire ravaged the building and destroyed more than half of the twenty (20) apartments in the building.

It’s a lesson to learn for all condo-owners: Don’t trust your board – and especially the board of a master-association with your financial welfare. You may suffer a similar fate than the owners of the units in Ventnor B.

The sad statistics of the Ventnor B fire:

July 7, 2005: A fire in one of the apartments destroys more than half of the building.

January 2, 2018: Many of the rebuilt apartments still don’t have a “Certificate of Occupancy” – and the owners are still “homeless”.

Minimum fourteen (14) of the original occupants in 2005 will never see the “new” building. They passed away during the time wasted by lawsuits and permit-issues.

It’s a shame that condo-owners have to suffer such a fate – and it clearly shows that the system of protection of owners as is in Florida just doesn’t work.

PENETRATIONS EXTEND FULL LENGTH OF BUILDING ATTIC BROKEN PIECES OF FIRE BARRIER ATOP ATTIC INSULATION CATV CABLES INSTALLED THROUGH BROKEN FIRE BARRIER.


 

The main reason for the owners having to wait about thirteen (13) years is best explained with a sentence copied from the lawsuit the owners were forced to file – because the folks responsible were unwilling to take responsibility of their actions – or failure to do the right things:

The reckless acts and omissions of Defendants (The Plastridge Agency, Inc. the Condominium Owners Organization of Century Village, Inc. and CVE Master Management, Inc.) by and through their officers and directors and/or agents were committed in bad faith and in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property, wherein "MIRV" was the actually level of insurance required on the property.”

Pictures of the huge holes in the fire-walls of the attic clearly show the reason why the fire was able to spread so quickly. Combined with the lack of proper insurance and the unwillingness of the guilty parties to admit their wrong-doings caused the lengthy delays preventing the condo owners from returning to their homes in a reasonable period of time

The latest fight of the owners trying to get back in their homes: The “BUILDING CODE” regarding air-conditioners.

Since many months the owners are fighting the building inspectors of Broward County. Over the years many of the codes have changed. REMEMBER: Nearly thirteen (13) years went by since the fire devastated the building!

Many of the “new” codes prohibit the apartments to be rebuilt as they were when they were destroyed by the fire. Changes have to be made accordingly and the owners have to deal with all these “changes” – changes that often make little sense – and were in my opinion created by officials in exchange for campaign funds from the building industry.

The big question: How many more “stumbling blocks” will be thrown in the owners’ ways before they can finally return in their homes – after waiting already for more than twelve years.

NEVER FORGET: THIS IS HOW SAD CONDO LIFE IN FLORIDA CAN BE!


UPDATE:

FAYE ADAM FINALLY RECEIVED HER CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY --

12 1/2 YEARS AFTER A FIRE DESTROYED HER HOME!

CONGRATULATION!


LINKS:

THE FACTS ABOUT THE VENTNOR B LAWSUIT -- AS SAD AS THEY MAY BE! (CCFJ)

If you lived in Ventnor B, you may never go home again! (Pelican)

Waiting to go home (Miami Herald)

The Original Lawsuit


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