KB Home "Band-Aids" not doing the job, residents say

2:17 PM, Oct 12, 2012   |    comments
Wood rotting from a balcony at Willowbrook townhome that was built by KB Home.
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Tampa Bay, Fla. -- With national builder KB Home promising to fix dozens of crumbling condos and townhomes across the Bay Area, complaints from homeowners continue to pour into 10 News.

Residents of the Willowbrook Townhomes in Bradenton - the crumbling condos with pre-construction defects identified by 10 News - say KB Home is working to repair stucco and other cosmetic issues with their homes while ignoring the major structural issues that will continue to plague the complex.

Rotting wood, growing mold, and water intrusion are among the concerns homeowners have with their townhomes, ranging from two to five years old.  Many say the "fixes" from KB Home - more than 20 in some cases - don't fix anything at all and at this point, the homes in the neighborhood are worthless.  Residents have asked KB Home to buy back the distressed properties.

Viewers have also sent in pictures of fire ants and even mushrooms growing inside their living rooms - symptoms, they say, of the severe water intrusion at Willowbrook.

The concerns are echoed by homeowners in the Preserve at Sundance complex in Mulberry. Kenny Jimno, who has been undergoing repairs from KB Home for nine years, says the homebuilder has been frantically trying to patch up homes since 10 News identified the problems last week.

With only one year left on his limited warranty, Jimno is concerned KB's "Band-Aids" are only masking the interior defects in his home and he'll soon be left without any recourse.

Unlike the Willowbrook homeowners, Jimno is simply looking for KB Home to to be relocated his family to a safer house.

Homeowners at several different complexes have also expressed frustration with the Florida Department of Business Regulation (DBPR), the governing body of homebuilders.  While DBPR can't publicly acknowledge complaints before finding probable cause, homeowners report an investigator they spoke to wasn't encouraging about finding probable cause. 

The Florida Attorney General's office has passed complaints it received off to DBPR, repeatedly telling 10 News that they'd rather let the governing agency investigate the alleged fraud.

Taking issues into their own hands, some homeowners have started creating content on websites like TheKBHome.com, but the homebuilder has pushed back, reportedly getting a page for the campaign removed from Facebook.

If you've been a victim of poor KB Home Construction, contact 10 News Investigator Noah Pransky at npransky@wtsp.com.

Previous KB Home coverage:
10/9/12 - Willowbrook residents confront Manatee commissioners
10/4/12 - Nine years of failed fixes from KB Home
10/2/12 - State Senator pleads for AG to investigate KB
9/28/12 - Anomalies found in Willowbrook inspections
9/26/12 - Willowbrook victims seeking legal help
9/19/12 - Frustrated homeowners confront KB executive
9/13/12 - 10 News reveals KB whistleblowers tried to warn homeowners
8/8/12 - Willowbrook homeowners meet with state senator
8/4/12 - Homeowners demanding justice from KB Home

Find 10 News Investigator Noah Pransky on Facebook or follow his updates on Twitter.

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