Grant Cardone faces tenant uproar over rain damage at Las Olas apartment building
Residents allege historic downpour in Fort Lauderdale overfilled rooftop pool, sending gallons of cascading water into dozens of units below
A Grant Cardone-owned apartment building in Fort Lauderdale is at the center of a tenant uproar over water damage caused by historic rainfall this month.
On April 12, when the city was hit with 26 inches of rain that flooded streets, single-family homes and shut down Fort Lauderdale International Airport, dozens of units in the south tower of 10X Living Las Olas were inundated with cascading water from the eight-story building’s rooftop pool and the terraces of two-story units on the seventh floor, according to videos provided to The Real Deal.
One short clip shows water rapidly flowing down a flight of stairs in one of the two-story apartments, while other footage shows water gushing out of the pool, as well as out of air conditioning vents inside a unit.
The rain caused the pool to overflow, while poor drainage in the terraces caused water to accumulate — with no place to go but down, four residents allege. One of the tenants, Jordan Blue, also provided TRD with screenshots of a Whatsapp chat of 50 tenants, and a Facebook group with 200 residents discussing the stormy chaos and its aftermath inside the building at 106 South Federal Highway.
Blue pays $2,600 a month for a one-bedroom unit on the sixth floor that now has significant water damage, he said. He was going to move out, but property management staff informed him that he would still be responsible for rent payments until a new tenant moves into his apartment, Blue said.
“My neighbor and I suffered pretty badly,” Blue said. “About 30 to 40 units were affected by the rain water pouring down from the pool.”
In a text message, Cardone said his team, including property manager RPM Living, responded in “10X fashion, proactively addressing the inconveniences our very appreciative and loyal residents” endured. One of the videos does show several fans and dehumidifiers drying out a unit.
Cardone leverages his massive social media presence into recruiting investors for his business endeavors, and is among the biggest multifamily investors in the nation.
After closing deals, Cardone allows investors to place a minimum of $5,000 in exchange for a minor stake in his real estate ownership entities. Through affiliates of his Aventura-based Cardone Capital, he owns $5 billion worth of apartments in five states, according to his firm’s website.
In 2021, Cardone purchased 10X Living Las Olas, then known as Las Olas Walk, as part of a $744 million acquisition of four multifamily projects in Broward County.
The individual sale price for the two-building 10X Living Las Olas complex with 456 apartments is not known. Cardone typically buys the ownership entity rather than purchase buildings via a property deed sale that has to be recorded.
Blue disputed Cardone’s claim about his team’s proactive measures. “There hasn’t been anything said if there will be compensation,” Blue said. “A lot of people have renters insurance, but a majority were denied. Insurers are claiming this was a flood event, and that is not covered.”
He added, “They care more about the viability of the building than the current residents.”
Dylan Palmer, who was renting a one-bedroom unit for $2,950 a month, said he used storage bins to collect and dump water into the bathtub throughout the storm. “Water was coming out of the vents,” Palmer said. “It was just an overall horrible situation.”
His clothes, towels, two pairs of shoes, a bedframe and two dog beds were completely ruined, Palmer said. “They told me that they are not responsible for anything,” he said, referring to RPM Living staff. “I had to go stay in a hotel on my own dime. It is absolutely mindblowing.”
Palmer moved out this week after quickly finding a new apartment. His lease at 10X Living Las Olas was up for renewal next month, he said. “They already have it listed for $3,100 a month,” he said. “I was in there yesterday, and it still has water damage.”
Britt Nemeth and Jim Welebir, tenants of a two-floor unit, told TRD that they were among the first people to rent at the complex when it was completed in 2021. Their rent is $4,600 a month. Since they moved in, the terrace has artificial turf that covers drains for rainwater to go through.
“The rain came under the floors and through the walls, down the stairs,” Welebir said. “They had to put in 13 fans and two dehumidifiers to dry out the apartment.”
During an inspection of their apartment, RPM Living General Manager Tania Gondesen tried to claim the water damage to the unit’s walls and doors was urine from their two dogs, Welebir said. He provided TRD with an email exchange he had with Godensen in which she apologized for asking if the wetness was dog urine.
Gondesen declined comment via email.
In his text exchange with TRD, Cardone did not respond to the specific allegations made by Blue, Palmer, Nemeth and Welebir.
“The team…worked around the clock to handle this freak storm,” Cardone said. “For the most part, our residents have been extremely understanding of this once in a lifetime natural disaster. And we will continue to support all those who have been negatively affected.”