Non-permitted remodels after the sale?

grandmumFebruary 25, 2014

After the sale of the home. If upgrades such as remodeled bath or kitchen or otherwise was performed without a city permit, do the buyers have any recourse after the sale if something was not up to snuff?

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rrah

No--the buyer should have looked into those items BEFORE closing. Did the buyer ask about permits at any time?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 6:12PM
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cmarlin20

Did you complete a disclosure asking if any nonpermitted work. If so, and you answered yes, you should be fine.

This post was edited by cmarlin20 on Wed, Feb 26, 14 at 12:21

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 9:27PM
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grandmum

Seller signed disclosure saying that no significant work was done without a permit... however, a bathroom and kitchen remodel occurred without a permit

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 7:20PM
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gmp3

What do you mean by remodel? Changing fixtures, tile, etc don't require a permit in my area.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 8:05PM
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berniek

Depending on the complexity of the renovation, a permit might not be required. Check with the permitting authority about the level of renovation when a permit is required. Be prepared to have to obtain a permit after the fact when disclosing the renovations.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 12:30AM
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woohooman

Different states, different rules. But like berniek said, not all upgrades are required to have a permit. Usually it's just things that are structural. Like if a wall was removed or added or there was significant change to plumbing, electrical, etc.

One thing I do know is if a remodel that needed permitting wasn't permitted, it can't add value as far as conventional lenders are concerned.

For example: you added 500 square feet on the back of your home unpermitted. House was originally 1000 s.f. Now, it's 1500 s.f. When an appraiser goes to find comps, he/she can only use the original 1,000 s.f. comps because the addition was never legally recorded.

It still can be sold ( full disclosure) or refinanced but the lender will only accept the comps for the original.

There are ways to work around this like getting it inspected, paying the permit fees, possibly a fine(if you were the one who had the addition done, etc.

Kevin

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 12:48AM
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LuAnn_in_PA

"Seller signed disclosure saying that no significant work was done without a permit... however, a bathroom and kitchen remodel occurred without a permit"

Please tell us the details of the remodel, as not all work needs permits.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 4:00PM
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windycitylindy

And are you sure that the seller you bought from is the owner that did the remodel without a permit? If he didn't do it, he may not have known its permit status.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 6:08PM
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grandmum

"Please tell us the details of the remodel, as not all work needs permits."

Kitchen- cabinets, tile.
Bathroom - cabinet, tile, toilet, plumbing
Entire house repiped with copper pipe (was galvanized)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 6:33PM
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dekeoboe

And it was the seller that did all this remodeling?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 8:47PM
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woohooman

Here in California(one of the most stringent), those upgrades(doesn't actually fit into "remodeling") would not require permits.

Kevin

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:35PM
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nancylouise_gw

As stated, different states, even towns require different permits. What you described would require a permit in my town. Moving of plumbing, new plumbing, replace fixtures, toilets, hot water tank,etc. all require a permit here. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:42AM
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woohooman

Wow Nancylouise! For minor stuff such as what you mentioned??

Anything for the municipalities to make a buck, I guess.

Kevin

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:20PM
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nancylouise_gw

Yep, Kevin. I consider some of those things minor too. I doubt the majority of homeowners pull permits for changing out toilets or faucets, but a permit is required. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 2:48PM
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writersblock

Yeah, the county where I live is just like what nancylouise describes, although they were incredibly casual about it till the recession began and they started needing the permit money badly. Now they cruise around looking for evidence, like an old toilet put out for collection, that someone has done an unpermitted job.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 2:59PM
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kirkhall

Permit required in my city for just replacing an electric hot water heater... Lucky us.

The rule is, you need to go talk to your permitting office about the requirement for a permit in each of those situations, and since they didn't have one, and you bought the house, what you need to do now.

Then, you can think about "recourse". Until then, you don't even know if any recourse is needed or worthwhile.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 1:21AM
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