Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Old Pipes

My downstairs neighbor is renovating her kitchen. She was one of the original purchasers of the TIC when we bought the six unit building in the summer of 2000. At the time of the purchase the systems - plumbing, electrical - of this 1910 building were in sorry shape. Shortly after the purchase each flat went through a back to the studs renovation - except unit 3. For various reasons ten years went by before this partner did the necessary work.

When the contractor opened up the walls in this downstairs unit last week he found old water pipes that were literally crumbling. Small leaks behind the walls that had dripped for years had damaged one of the structural beams. We were literally days away from a major plumbing meltdown.

After being informed of this one of the other owners commented, "When we bought this place I wish we had written it into the TIC agreement that each owner had to complete their plumbing and electrical upgrades within a certain amount of time. Then this wouldn't have happened."

Too late for us. But maybe it's not too late for others. If you are buying into an older building make sure you know what the state of the plumbing and electrical is - not just in your unit, but throughout the building. And if you are buying a fixer upper with partners, consider adding a clause requiring systems upgrades to your TIC agreement.


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