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Strata at Burnaby condo tower with woodpecker holes ordered to fix walls

The strata at Sapphire Manor in Burnaby has been given eight months to inspect and fix its exterior walls so they will stop leaking into Yu Hin Fung's apartment.
The Sapphire strata at 9633 Manchester Dr. in Burnaby has been ordered to fix its exterior walls so they will stop leaking into one owner's unit.

A Burnaby condo owner will have to fix water damage inside his suite himself, but his strata has been ordered to repair the building’s exterior walls to stop them from leaking into his unit.

Yu Hin Fung co-owns a condo in Sapphire Manor at 9633 Manchester Drive in the Lougheed neighbourhood.

He applied to the province’s Civil Resolution Tribunal in July for an order forcing the strata to fix the 1993 building’s exterior walls and to pay for damage he says exterior wall leaks have done to the inside of his suite, according to a tribunal ruling Wednesday.

Fung told the tribunal he had started noticing water leaking from his unit’s walls and windows three years ago but the strata has failed to properly address his repeated complaints.

He said he had told the strata management company there was condensation on “almost all windows,” one wall became saturated with water when it rained, a baseboard heater was rusted from water coming through the wall, exterior wall leaks had damaged a paint job and there was water damaged to some of his drywall.

After Fung launched his CRT case, the strata hired a contractor to repair the stucco on the outside of the building.

In an August report, that contractor said several holes had been found “apparently opened up by woodpeckers,” but it was unclear whether the company repaired the holes, according to the CRT ruling.

Fung hired a building inspector to take a look at the building after the stucco repairs, and the inspector noted active leaks in the south facing exterior wall in Fung’s livingroom, primary bedroom and primary bathroom, according to the ruling.

The inspector also noted the building’s exterior cladding was “nearing the end of its service life” and the exterior had “significant water damage, holes, sealant failure and damaged deck membranes,” the ruling said.

The inspector recommended the strata hire a building envelope engineer and qualified contractor for further investigation and repairs.

The strata didn’t deny the building exterior needs “extensive repairs” but told the tribunal it has “multiple other issues at play and must prioritize and make choices as finances are available,” according to the ruling.

But tribunal member Nav Shukla ruled the strata hadn’t provided convincing evidence there was other, more important work the strata had to prioritize over the building’s exterior wall repairs.

“Based on the evidence before me, I find the strata has not properly maintained and repaired the exterior walls as it is required to,” Shukla said.

He gave the strata eight months to have the walls inspected and repaired so they would stop leaking into Fung’s unit, but he dismissed Fung’s claim for repairs to the inside of his condo.

Shukla ruled Fung had failed to provide convincing evidence to prove which parts of his suite had been damaged by the exterior walls leaks.

The CRT is an online, quasi-judicial tribunal that hears strata property disputes and small claims cases.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor
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