Baffled condo owners asked for $17,000 each to pay for building repairs

Jan Schmidt thought she was set for retirement.

The military widow bought an apartment at the Bridgeton North Condos in St. Petersburg in 2016. Three years in, she says she can't afford to live there anymore.

Although Schmidt has been able to pay her mortgage and monthly building fees, she says there are hidden costs she wasn't aware of before moving in.

"When I got here, after a while, I realized that there were so many problems in this place,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt says she's paid about $28,000 in repair work since she's moved in.

In 2017, Schmidt and other homeowners had to foot the bill to pay for the building's new roof and resurfacing of the garage. Last year, the city of St. Petersburg tried to condemn the building unless the owners' association fix the facade on the side of the building.

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According to city officials, big pieces are falling off and it is a matter of safety.

Condo owners received a letter notifying them of an upcoming vote to approve an extra monthly payment of about $1,150 for the next 15 months to pay for these repairs.

“I couldn’t scrape up a thousand dollars every month, extra,” said Schmidt.

PBM, the company that manages the property, says it took over recently, and dividing the cost among homeowners is the only way they can finance this necessary repair work.

If the extra payments are approved by the board, homeowners who do not pay are subject to interest and late fees, liens, and ultimately foreclosure.

Schmidt is on a fixed income and says she won't be able to meet the new requirements to stay in her home.