Manatee homeowners at odds with builder


Article Courtesy of Bay News 9

Published August 2, 2012


A group of homeowners in Lakewood Ranch are involved in a lawsuit with their builder, KB Home.
Residents who live in the townhomes in the Willowbrook community said KB Home built them unsafe and unhealthy homes. As a result, they want the builder to buy back their homes.


Around 40 homeowners said major water intrusion has rotted away the wood framing and walls in their homes. Some of the homeowners said the water is causing mold issues.

“What they did was garbage,” said Armando Oyloa Delgado, who owns a home there.

Delgado said since moving into his home six years ago, it’s been a nightmare. He said the outside and inside are falling apart.

“These buildings need to be condemned,” he said.  “It’s not only because of the water intrusion that’s coming in, but once they peel back walls, they see structure defects.”


To be safe, he moved his family out.


Dan and Ashley Koehler are still their home.

The couple, who has a 1-year-old son, not only worry about their health because of the mold issues, but also their safety. Their back porch has severe water damage and is falling apart.

“If I were to step on my porch right now, I would literally fall through,” Dan Koehler siad.  "There’s a three to four foot hole in the middle of it.  I would fall straight through.”

Residents said KB Home has fixed a few of the problems. However, they said the problems always came back. All said the builder is now ignoring their requests.

When asked what they were doing to help the residents, Cara Kane, a representative with KB Home, said, “KB Home is committed to customer satisfaction and has been working diligently to resolve the issues. The Willowbrook Association recently presented KB Home with a claim on behalf of its members, and we have worked with the Association to inspect their concerns and look forward to fully and fairly resolving the homeowners' concerns.”

Those are words residents said they’ve heard for six years now and no longer believe.

“It makes me really sad that people are living like this and they don’t care,” Ashley Koehler said.

Residents are demanding that KB Home buy their homes back from them.

“We have water coming into our home, we have mold, it means nothing to us,”  Koehler said.  “Fix the problem. Get us out of her. Buy the home back.”

All of the homeowners Bay News 9 talked to said despite their problems, they’re still paying their mortgages and do not want to walk away from their homes in fear of ruining their credit.

All said they’ll continue to fight until something is done.

The residents are sending letters addressing their problems to local leaders, as well as to President Barack Obama.

A group of residents are planning a letter-send-off for Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Lakewood Ranch Post Office.