Inspectors Report Structural Issues at Condo Building Where Ceiling Collapsed on Woman

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Prince George's County inspectors found structural problems at a condo building after News4 reported a woman's ceiling collapsed and trapped her a few weeks ago.

On the other side of the Treetop Condominiums property, Tina Dowdy-Nixon is trying to renovate and rent her condo.

“I refuse to put anyone's life at risk and me be sued because of it,” she said.

She said the condo's board of trustees made a repair to her roof a few years ago. It’s considered a common area, but they made her pay for damage to her ceiling drywall.

“It was probably almost $2,000 just to replace the drywall and have it painted,” she said.

Dale Evans, who lives across the hall from the condo with the collapsed ceiling, was told she'd have to pay for her ceiling damage after the trustees replaced her roof, too.

The Prince George's County Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE) inspected some of the condos in the building and found all of the top floor condos had sagging ceilings, nail pops, tape separation at joints and signs of water entry from the roof. The report aligns with what Merry Wiley, the owner of the condo with the collapsed ceiling, says an engineer hired by Treetop told her.

“The statement made by their engineer said that if this is the type of material that was used throughout the buildings at Treetop, then it's not a question of if other ceilings will fail, it is only a matter of when,” she said.

DPIE Deputy Director Gary Cunningham said the county will require the condo complex to make repairs, but who ultimately pays for it may be decided in court.

“A rational person would believe that the damage to the common area may have caused or contributed to the damage within the unit, but that’s going to be something between the management of the condo and the individuals,” he said. “It will be a civil suit between them.”

Now that the county has inspected some of the condos, the board of trustees has 15 days to respond.

News4 reached out to the condo's board for comment but did not get a response.

In a previous statement, an attorney for the condos said, "Once we have the results of the investigation by our hired professionals, we will take the appropriate actions in full accordance with the condominium’s governing documents and Maryland law."

The county ordered condo management to have a third-party inspector make sure all the buildings on the property are not in danger of collapse. If inspectors find any structural issues, the buildings could be ruled uninhabitable.

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