Balcony problems link KB Home complexes - WFLA News Channel 8

Balcony problems link KB Home complexes

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Palm River Townhomes in Tampa Palm River Townhomes in Tampa
Palm River Townhomes in Tampa Palm River Townhomes in Tampa
8 On Your Side found documents showing KB knew about problems with the balcony design 8 On Your Side found documents showing KB knew about problems with the balcony design
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Bradenton homeowners with mold and leaks say their troubles started at the same place: their balconies.    

After years of repairs that fixed little, the problems in Willowbrook spread like a cancer, with rotting wood around door frames and windows.

"I have dismantled balcony with water intrusion and I have a gushing window full of water when it rains," said Kelly Hayes, homeowner, a Willowbrook homeowner.

After an 8 On Your Side investigation, and immense public pressure, KB promises to fix the buildings.  But when did they know there was a problem?

8 On Your Side has found public documents that show KB discovered problems with this balcony design but continued using it and selling Willowbrook homes anyway.

KB used a similar balcony design in this complex in Tampa: the Palm River Town Homes.

"It's been kind of a nightmare living in a KB home because it's never fixed right, never feels livable," said Charlie Beale, a homeowner in Palm River.

In early 2009, residents in Palm River started complaining that their fairly-new balconies were leaking.

County permits go into detail about water intrusion and KB's plans to rebuild the balconies.

At that same time, the builder was in Bradenton, still constructing the last of the Willowbrook buildings.

Permits show the same design was used, with no modifications to prevent the leaks that were already showing up in Palm River. 

KB representatives declined to answer questions about the balcony design. The company recently sued 41 subcontractors who worked on the Willowbrook buildings. KB says it was subcontractors that did shoddy work and are casting a negative light on the company.   

However, homeowners in three other Bay area counties have complained of similar leaks and mold and KB's failure to fix their problems. KB has not sued subcontractors who worked in any of those neighborhoods.

In the meantime, the Florida Attorney General's Office is investigating what happened in Willowbrook.

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