I've recently been going through a shit storm with an air conditioner problem in a high rise condo. The problem that I've discovered is that a regular AC guy can't just come out and fix it if it's a chilled water system. You have to get a full blown commercial AC repairman who knows how the entire building works. On top of that, you don't own anything outside of your building the HOA does. This is a blessing and a curse.
It's a blessing if something goes wrong definitely outside your place, then they have to fix it. But if it's only effecting you, then trying to get the HOA to cooperate with you is like trying to make a horse drink. Remember that old saying?
I've also come to the realization that if there's a major component of your house that you can't fix, you now have a worthless house. How do you protect yourself from this? Some would say don't own real estate and after having to deal with this I can't say that I disagree completely. However, I've found a positive to debt. The bank owns the majority of this propert thus reducing my risk. You could theoretically default and give it to the bank. You'd be out your down payment, but that's better than giving up the whole house.
You can also own more real estate. This increases the risk of having one of these problems, but it also helps spread out the risk of one of them going caput.
There are obviously pros and cons to this situation, but this is something that I thought I would never be contemplating.