Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Senate Transportation Chairman's property management company skimps on maintenance and endangers property owners.

State senator involved in controversy over condos in danger of collapse

August 13, 2008

By Lee McGuir
KHOU-TV (Houston)
Copyright 2008

HOUSTON — For three years Dan Seluk and his wife Andrea have paid maintenance fees to the Park Memorial Condominiums. The same complex city inspectors now warn is in imminent danger of collapse .

The city says the parking garage might simply fall apart and take the dozens of condos that sit above the garage down with them.

But the condo’s management teams had been collecting those maintenance fees for years.

“So you’re probably talking in three years about $15,000 in maintenance fees,” said condo resident Dan Seluk.

The issue even had Houston’s mayor Wednesday wondering what had gone wrong.

“The whole situation seems odd to me,” said Mayor Bill White.

But he wasn’t the only one having doubts.

“There’s a big question. Where have all our maintenance fees gone. Where have they gone?” said Andrew Seluk.

For a long time the money went to a company called Prime Site which was later absorbed by Associa Principal Management Group. In April that company ended its management agreement and copied at the bottom of the letter the company’s CEO, John Carona.

Carona is a state senator, but his day job is CEO of one of the largest property management companies in the nation. Until this summer his group managed the now-hazardous condominiums. He also wrote the Texas Residential Property Owners Protection Act.

“To think that someone in public office is running these companies and is perhaps making a lot of money. And the service of these companies is so terrible and the homeowner’s hands are tied.” said Dan Seluk.

Senator Carona’s office was not available for comment Wednesday, but a spokesman for Associa said the company couldn’t address this issue publicly.

However he said they often rely on condo boards of directors to tell them what needs maintenance in a complex and try to fix problems when they’re brought to their attention.

Meanwhile all the Seluks are left to do is wonder where all their fees went now that their home has become a hazard.

© 2008

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