Tyler Berding

They don’t build things like they used to.  The Pyramids of Egypt have been around since approximately 2700 BC, that’s almost 5000 years.  I wonder how much maintenance has been done on them over the centuries?  Our cardboard and scotch tape buildings fail after a few years and will probably not be a source of amazement in a century.  In fact, at this rate, most of them will not be still standing and that’s with maintenance.  How times they are a changing!

Tyler Berding joins us On The Commons this week.  Tyler is a founding partner of Berding and Weil, a law firm in California specializing in construction defect litigation and condominiums.  He has long warned us of the perils we are facing by not being adequately funded for multi unit housing.  Tyler also maintains a blog called, not surprisingly, Condo Issues.  Tyler talks about a couple of recent tragic building failures in California that claimed the lives of several people.  He explains why he believes these buildings are failing and what can be done about it.  He also tells us about one bill he wrote that he thinks might help in the future.  But at no time does he promise us that we will be building and living in anything that is remotely as well built as the Pyramids built by the ancient Egyptians.  

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3 thoughts on “Tyler Berding”

  1. I frequently suggest victims of HOAs read Mr. Berding’s “The Uncertain Future of Community Associations” which can be found with an internet search. At one time, a neighbor of mine printed several copies of it and we handed them to legislators, city planners, and other homeowners. His knowledge is right on point!

    In this interview he addresses several things that I’ve been saying for years. One is the fact property managers are not qualified in the field of construction or construction defects to know what they are looking at. I’ve found these CAI property managers are nothing more than a joke. We had one in my HOA that hired people to repair the rotting wood siding. In the process they were finding severely rotted frames. One employee consulted with two attorneys and was instructed on how to become a whistle blower. He did excellent documentation and photography. He rang my doorbell and presented all of it to me. In my efforts to educate my neighbors of the risks that were lying under their homes, I contacted a local newspaper reporter that wrote an excellent front page article. When interviewed the CAI property manager said they were only doing “temporary work!” Nothing could be further from the truth but he saved his reputation in the media with that nonsense statement. The employee had already resigned from the company when he exposed the truth. He said he would go on TV, in the newspaper or any place else to confirm what he was being told and prove his statements but sadly he was never consulted.

    One of the problems the construction industry has faced with regards to hiring skilled workers is the onslaught of illegal workers that were/are being hired thus pushing those with skills out of jobs because the illegals work for cash and work for less money. We are now seeing the fallout of not having enough skilled construction workers in America as Mr. Berding discusses. The construction industry is hard physically and can be dangerous work. It has peaks and valleys. This year you work and make good money, next year you could be sitting with nothing to do and barely able to buy groceries. My dad was a builder and developer so I know the industry very well. It is also very stressful because the logistics of coordinating every contractor has to be perfectly timed. It’s a step by step process and one thing has to be done before the other. If you are waiting on a trim carpenter to finish another job you might miss out on having the painter be able to start on a projected date. So you are not only coordinating your own job but you have to be flexible which means you have down days when some workers are sitting with nothing to do. To keep them working for you, you’ll need to pay them or risk they take a job with another contractor. My dad always said making a living in the construction industry was like making a living on a craps table in Las Vegas. In spite of it all he was very successful but he was also a third generation builder and had massive experience. The reward of course, is once the job is completed you can drive past for decades to come and see the results of the work you did. Not many professions have that long lasting visual effect.

    Trying to help an HOA is futile. In 2008, I had two second generation construction company owners offer to help my HOA with construction projects and getting back on it’s feet. They are also college educated. They were willing to VOLUNTEER their time for three years to be on the board. The sitting board and their cronies made up every lie you can think of to keep these highly-educated and skilled contractors off of the board by scaring the neighbors into not voting for them. They were successful at keeping the contractors from being elected and the neighborhood has gone downhill since with the hiring of CAI property managers and their unskilled employees at a very high price tag. The board immediately changed the by-laws so never again could someone that is not an owner in this HOA run for the board. (Talk about cutting your nose off to spite your face!) I’ve learned when it comes to HOAs you cannot fix stupid and you cannot help people who refuse to listen to logic and acknowledge visual proof.

    I hope to hear more of what Mr. Berding has to say in future interviews. I was not aware of his website and most thankful to know there is yet another resource where I can direct those in search of information.

    Thank you, Shu for inviting him to be your guest once again.

  2. Excellent podcast! Tyler Berding discusses many important points.

    There truly is an unwillingness to know the truth about the condition of a condo building. But let me add that in HOA planned communities there is an equal amount of unwillingness to investigate the root causes of poor performance or failure of major infrastructure such as roads, storm drains, retention ponds and dams, water and sewer utilities, retaining walls, canals, embankments, etc. Talk about expensive components to maintain and repair! And deferred or inadequate maintenance of these components is fairly common. Where will HOAs now approaching 30-40 years in age ever find adequate support and financial resources to rebuild the “bones” of their communities?

    Will owners of subdivisions with infrastructure defects be able to recover costs from developers and construction companies? Here in Florida, the indsutry lobbies very hard to reduce, if not eliminate, liabilty for condition of community components not directly touching houses. (private roads, storm water drainage systems, and the like) How can so many local governments demand that developers build entire communities, allow them to hire their own experts to inspect and approve the final product, then hand those developers near-unilateral control of their creations for many years, and then not even expect builders and their contractors to be accountable for the quality of their work? It boggles the mind.

    Likewise, if soils beneath homes and community infrastruture are unsuitable for one reason or aother (either unstable or contaminated), and the site is not properly perpared with hazard mitigated, problems tend to appear years later. That’s when we read about homes sinking into the soil in CO, landslides in CA, sinkholes in FL, and similar situations. At that point, the “I don’t want to know what’s wrong” mentality rears its ugly head once again.

    But the alternative is unacceptable — because to not correct major health and safety issues, or not to remove people from harm’s way would be unconscionable.

  3. Excellent podcast! Tyler Berding discusses many important points.

    There truly is an unwillingness to know the truth about the condition of a condo building. But let me add that in HOA planned communities there is an equal amount of unwillingness to investigate the root causes of poor performance or failure of major infrastructure such as roads, storm drains, retention ponds and dams, water and sewer utilities, retaining walls, canals, embankments, etc. Talk about expensive components to maintain and repair! And deferred or inadequate maintenance of these components is fairly common. Where will HOAs now approaching 30-40 years in age ever find adequate support and financial resources to rebuild the “bones” of their communities?

    Will owners of subdivisions with infrastructure defects be able to recover costs from developers and construction companies? Here in Florida, the industry lobbies very hard to reduce, if not eliminate, liability for condition of community components not directly touching houses. (private roads, storm water drainage systems, and the like) How can so many local governments demand that developers build entire communities, allow them to hire their own experts to inspect and approve the final product, then hand those developers near-unilateral control of their creations for many years, and then not even expect builders and their contractors to be accountable for the quality of their work? It boggles the mind.

    Likewise, if soils beneath homes and community infrastructure are unsuitable for one reason or another (either unstable or contaminated), and the site is not properly prepared with hazard mitigated, problems tend to appear years later. That’s when we read about homes sinking into the soil in CO, landslides in CA, sinkholes in FL, and similar situations. At that point, the “I don’t want to know what’s wrong” mentality rears its ugly head once again.

    But the alternative is unacceptable — because to not correct major health and safety issues, or not to remove people from harm’s way would be unconscionable.

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