Residents file federal lawsuit against Renaissance Tower HOA, management company
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Residents of the Renaissance Tower condos filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the board of directors and companies that manage the building.
The suit, filed just over a week ago, alleges condo owners are still without homes with some living in tents at a nearby campground.
The condo tower was forced to evacuate in early October after the building was deemed “unsafe” by county code enforcement. Empress Management told residents the foundation was deteriorating, “substantially worse” than what “previous analysis was able to show”.
- Horry County beachfront condos deemed unsafe, all residents evacuated
- Renaissance Tower deemed unsafe, structural corrosion could be a factor
The lawsuit claims members of the condo HOA, “knew for years about steadily worsening damage to structural steel components supporting the building yet failed to undertake further inspections or any repairs and allowed the damage to worsen.”
Attorneys representing the residents say the company that manages the condo building and the board of directors referred to as “Regime” more commonly known as a homeowner’s association, acted negligently for the last five years regarding the structural soundness of the Towers.
The lawsuit alleges building managers had known since 2016 the foundation of the Renaissance Tower was corroding and claims the tower’s foundation was recently inspected only as a result of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida.
In 2016, according to the documents, a professional engineer was hired and reported to the board the steel under the building “was in bad shape and need to be repaired or replaced.” The HOA attempted to bid out a project to repair the corroded foundation in 2018, but no work ever took place.
The condo’s August 2020 newsletter states the Board delayed repairing the damaged steel components and addressing the safety and structural integrity issue presented by those damages and to instead replace cooler components and a cooling tower “which are not safety or structural integrity issues and were not worsening such that a delay in their replacement would result in increased repair costs.”
After the Florida condo collapse, the Regime asked the engineer to return and draw up repair options for the board to vote on.
The engineer from 2018 returned and inspected the building in 2021 and found the building in worse condition and that no repairs had been made.
On October 7, as construction contractors were removing materials from under the building they observed the steel was so corroded and weakened that they called the engineer to evaluate the conditions and which resulted in the building being deemed “not structurally sound,” according to the lawsuit.
The suit claims the management over the Renaissance Tower was negligent, breached their fiduciary duties, and breached by-laws.
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