Tuesday, October 26, 2010

District Takes Action Against Condo Developer


Developers of shoddy condo projects beware. The District government has filed a complaint against Charles Jenkins, who the District said had performed "inadequate renovations" on numerous condominium projects, and that he "failed to disclose to potential purchasers the true condition of the condominiums, which suffered from severe defects." The District is seeking to enjoin him from further condo projects and for payment of all repairs made to his projects.

Jenkins is accused of failing to obtain a warranty, as required with all new condominiums as a backstop against product defects, that he failed to provide or provided inaccurate Public Offering Statements (POS) to purchasers, and of performing "shoddy workmanship" with "significant defects." Jenkins and his company renovated and sold the Eighth Street Condominiums at 3201 8th St., SE, completed in 2005, Eastern Avenue condos at 940-948 Eastern Avenue, NE, and the A Street Condominiums at 4932 A St., SE.

The city has ordered a jury trial to seek relief for duped condo purchasers. Complaints included non-functioning air conditioning, leaks, "inoperable security gate and door buzzer," and vermin.

13 comments:

Jamie said...

How often does the DC Government file this kind of official complaint, and what lead to it? I know plenty of neighbors who wish the DC Government (DCRA, etc.) would take some similar action against the developers of Capitol Hill Oasis in NE, which DC Mud has covered in Sept. 2010 (http://dcmud.blogspot.com/2010/09/phase-ii-underway-at-capitol-hill-oasis.html).

In the latest example of on-site bufoonery, it appears the diggers-in-training (the developer is using a trade school for all the site-work, which ceased completely many weeks ago) dug themselves a little island which, turns out, couldn't support the weight of the digger when the rains came. Check it out at http://frozentropics.blogspot.com/2010/10/whoops-more-buofoonery-at-capitol-hill.html#comments.

We've had numerous informal discussions with the developer and every party in the DC Government to which we've been referred, but have not received a single actionable piece of feedback. Perhaps lobbying for an official complaint of this nature is a logical next step. Advice is welcome.

Anonymous said...

I think that this is just the beginning of the cracking down on all of the "Bootleg" developers that are out there, swindling money from those who chose to purchase a home. Mark my words, whatever problems that the residents of the Capitol Hill Oasis have had concerning the construction, foundation and development of those homes will be met if the correct steps are taken. I can make a legitimate statement because I am a resident/homeowner of one of those communities mentioned and we (the residents and the board)had to go through an extremely long and overbearing process of paperwork, and the official filing of complaints for at least a two-year period in order for it to have come to this point. But yes, there is a process. I would suggest that you or whoever is a resident at Capitol Hill Oasis, get together with the HOA (Homeowner's Association) and set an appointment or make a request to the DCRA concerning any situations going on with your community. You will have to follow the guidelines and in addition to that there is a timeline that must be met. But I do believe that it will pay off, but also make sure to stay on DCRA's tail also after everything is done accordingly. Just my advise.

tamar08 on Oct 27, 2010, 9:10:00 AM said...

His name is actually Charles Jenkins and the District should do more than just take him to court. It is the District who allowed him to proceed with building even though he was not in compliance and it was the District who's inspectors signed off on his shoddy work.

While legal action is great, it does little for those of us who purchased the properties. I live in one of the properties and our Condo Association went through the 'process' for two years with DCRA. It did absolutely no good and in the end we were told that since Jenkins did not put up money for warranty claims as required there was no money for us. We are still stuck with shoddy properties and no money to make repairs.

Gretchen on Oct 27, 2010, 4:56:00 PM said...

We have been dealing with a similar scoundrel builder named Vincent Abell. As said above, it's DC's fault that a man like this is able to continue doing business, get permits, sell properties without a bond, and be able to get away with it. Abell was one of the criminals fined by the US Senate for foreclosure fraud, and yet was somehow able to continue practices in DC. Abell is also under investigation by the Attorney General, but to what end? There is clearly some serious corruption going on, and we've been following all necessary steps (including hiring a lawyer), but it's alarming how many government employees just shrug their shoulders. Even our lawyer, when asked about the ramifications for not posting a warranty bond, shrugged and said "there really aren't any, even though it's illegal." It's unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

So, with all of this being said. What can actually be done to correct things. Although they are taking this man to court, will there be any actual justification from it? Or is he being brought before the legal system, just so DC can say that this man has gone through the legal process. I personally believe that although he is going through this process, he should still be held accountable for the needed repairs that must be taken care of, regardless if he does or does not have a warranty because he has had too many properties within the district to just be able to walk away. The District would not allow us as homeowners to walk away without any ramifications , so why should developers who pull this type of nonsense be able to walk away? Also, if Jenkins did not put up any money for the warranty claims- which was required by law of the District of Columbia, then why are they doing more to make sure that he makes the repairs? It seems to me that the District is neglecting or turning a blind eye to what this man has done-WHICH WAS TO BREAK THEIR(The District Government-DCRA) LAWS and ones who followed procedure (the homeowners)are to ones who have to pay the price.

Anonymous said...

Correction to the last statement within the paragraph made. "Why are they not doing more to make sure that the he makes the repairs", is what I meant.

Anonymous said...

Also, it's more than just a broken gate, or a door buzzer. There is a large crack in the foundation of the retaining wall outside of the community. You can almost see the buildings "separating". There is not nor has there ever been proper drainage to any water flow (rain/snow)away from the buildings. The leaks occur because the roof has not properly been installed, and during the blizzard period, you could see some of the bricks from the top floor buckling from the weight of the snow, which shows to type of stability or lack of it that these so-called developers put into these communities and it is only by the grace of God that these roofs did not cave during that time and I hope and pray that they do not. In some units, the floors are buckled due to flooding from either the leaks or lack of drainage. Yesterday, during the storm, I've noticed a mass amount of water falling from the roof and it was not just due to the storm. It was also due to the gutters, which are either clogged or insufficiently installed. I've driven by one of the communities built by this guy and what was promised to be a full community is only two buildings. In other words, this guy and "purchased" or "obtain" ownership of 12 buildings for a condo-conversion community and out of those 12 buildings, he only completed two. Much has to be done, and DC or DCRA should not just stand by and let this guy or any other shoddy developer get away with swindling money from people who are taking out loans to purchase these homes to actually live in. They (DC/DCRA)literally have to damn near put a foot in their (shoddy developers)ass to get things corrected.

Anonymous said...

I think the DCRA needs to be investigated. Maybe they're in bed with the developers? this drives me crazy. We pay high enough taxes in DC, but DC is incapable of enforcing its own laws. You let your car expire for even minute and you're hit with a parking ticket right then and there.

These shoddy developers have been working the systems FOR YEARS! My developer is one of these people. He has been preying on DC consumers for about 15 years. the penalty for not posting a warranty bond is supposed to be $75K fine (or something like that) AND jail time. But the DCRA doesn't bother doing its job. I've contacted numerous agencies about this in DC: the attorney General and also the Inspector General. The Inspector General doesn't give a shit. The attorney general finally initiated a lawsuit against my builder, but we'll see what actually comes of it.

Anonymous said...

I did a little research and I don't know if DCRA is involved in this, but here is a link that has sort of been an eye-opener to me concerning the location of the community in which I am a homeowner. I hope that I've typed it well and that you are able to access it. The link is- http://www.planning.dc.gov/planning/frames.asp?doc=/planning/lib/planning/deanwood/deanwood_final_plan-revised_11-04-08.pdf

Please check out pages; 11 (exhibit E), 20-21, 45, 60-61, 70-71.

I don't want to jump the gun on seeing too much into what I perceive it to be, but if DC had already made plans concerning this area, is this a reason as to why they are dragging their feet or more so not seriously taking heed to what has been done by the developer? In other words, if DC had already mapped out plans for this location, could that be the reason why they are not doing more to make sure that the developer is held accountable? Because it will benefit them to turn a blind eye by not making this guy accountable and just let the place fall apart so that it would be easier for them to just seize the place in order to proceed with their plans? I am for the improvement of the area. But when I looked at this and given the current situation, it just seemed odd that either not enough is being done, or that this situation is not being taken seriously by DC/DCRA concerning this developer and this may be why. Just my perception on the who issue. Take a look at it and give me your take on it. I'd really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I knew this name sounded familiar- back in 2002, I bought a condo from Charles Jenkins in NE. I think the building where I bought the condo was the first one he bought and "renovated". I've since sold the place once the housing market got hot but I see the complaint only goes back to '05. I wonder if DC knows about the other properties in the Benning Road Metro area he sold.

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure that they do. Or at least they should since they claim to have all the information of every development this person overtook. I am glad that you were at least able to sell it. I am contemplating or more so perplexed about making any renovations to my unit at this time because I don't even know if it would be feasible to do so.

Anonymous said...

I would like to share some facts with other condo owners. I also own a condo owner in DC and so far I have no problem with my condo, building or developer. I do not understand why people are not satisfied from their purchases. I am sure they must have seen condominium before they bought it, in most cases they must have got home inspection done by professional before they settle. You only buy it because you were satisfied at that time. Other factor is, it all depends how much you paid, if you bought a cheap or reasonable price condo in upcoming neighborhood, you cannot expect top quality renovations. In other words, you get what you see or you get what you pay. I think as condo owners we need to understand its our investment and we need to take care of our properties (just like single family or townhouse owners) instead of waiting for developer to come and repair our maintenance items. I see most of the items people are complaining in this post are not structural, as far as I know, by law, developers are only responsible for structural defects for 1 or 2 years after the sale. I also believe we are going through this tough economical / recession times. Property values are down and it is constantly decreasing, therefore people are frustrated and not keeping up with their properties. Good luck to you all...

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with not being "satisfied" with a purchase of a home. However, the point of this entire article or more so the complaints from the article are that the developer has a track record of bailing out of what supposed to be a finished or completed project. The other point of this article is that DCRA has known about this individual and has pretty much damn near done nothing to make sure that he is not even allowed to develop any other real estate developments in the District of Columbia. And yes, I do believe that people have the right to complain if things are not right. The District of Columbia knew about this individual and has done nothing to bar him from doing the same thing repetitively. In addition to this, they (DCRA) has allowed this man to deliberately disregard their laws by not making sure that the funds for the warranty or warranty claims was reserved for such structural repairs. And the last time that I've checked, something like the building spliting on the sides has been considered a structural issue, that which should've been addressed and taken care of by the builder as well as DCRA- for them to insure that the builder is honoring the contract to repair structural damages or disrepair. This is also not about trying to swindle the builder who actually swindled many homeowners, but this is about either making the builder accountable or making sure that he is not able to do this to anyone else. So my suggestion would be that if you cannot offer any helpful suggestions, do not bother to comment. There is more to it than what you see on this site.

 

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