Finished basement without permit

Ashley2013April 24, 2013

Hi all,
I have a problem but don't know how to solve it. Hopefully, someone can walk me through. Here is my problem: I bought a house with finished basement. After I fix it up, I get a complain to the county that I do a lot of thing with out permit. When an inspector comes, I show him my work. He told me I don't need permit for my work. Three weeks later I get a call and a note from the county that the finished basement has no permit and gave me 30 days to apply for permits or will issue a violation. I told him the basement finished before I bought the house. I have pictures before and after I fix it up. He said he know but I am a owner now, it is my responsible. So I don't want to get in trouble with county, I apply for permit and show a reviewer my basement before and after. He gave me permit and tells me work out with inspectors. Instead help me correct the problem, they fail me very bad. The main problem is the ceiling height is 2" lower that minimum requirement. The stair riser at the last step is 1" lower than the other, he want me open the wall to check insulation, and want decay resistant sill plate when in contact with slab if slab is not separated by a vapor barrier. Sound like I have to tear off my basement or redo everything in order to meet building code. Otherwise I have to gut all out. It is a really nightmare. I can not sleep because of this. My question is " Can I ask a waiver from the county because the basement finished before I bought a house? " How to do and where to go to apply for that waiver. Any help is appreciate.

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It might be time to talk to a lawyer.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 9:07AM
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With rare exceptions, the "finished" basements I'd run into when I was a real estate broker were abominably done and with no permits. The Vendor would place a statement in the offer that there was no warranty of legal status for use or construction.

Practices will vary by jurisdiction. But I would try for a waiver on the height and correct the other violations.

This post was edited by worthy on Wed, Apr 24, 13 at 9:46

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 9:45AM
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Someone is hunting for increases in RE taxes.

Some places are well known for demanding darn near total tear outs for un-permitted work they discover.

They also tend to be places that revoke COs at sale, thus creating an opportunity to inspect again (without a search warrant).

This post was edited by brickeyee on Wed, Apr 24, 13 at 15:15

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 3:11PM
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