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Why Unpermitted Work Should Terrify You


I know "terrify" is a strong word, but unpermitted work is a really big deal. Not only can it mean big safety concerns and big costs--but you may also run into the issue of building code violations. 

Ever heard of building code violations? After more than a year as a property analyst, I've come by them more times than I could count.

Most people have little-to-no understanding of what a building code violation is until it becomes a problem for them. People hear the words "code violation" and automatically think it has something to do with unmowed grass, or dead branches, but a building code violation is actually the result of a permit issue.

Building code violations are often reported only in permit searches. When a building code violation is active on your property it means either (1) the permit was not properly completed, or (2) a permit was never opened for the work done in the first place--both of which can mean BIG problems. 

Here are some examples of buidling code violations resulting from work with no permit should worry a new owner:

  1. Someone put up a fence without a permit -- that's a BUILDING CODE VIOLATION.
  2. Someone got a permit for a 4-ft fence, but installed a 5-ft fence --also a BUILDING CODE VIOLATION.

So, why should you care? Buyer, Title Agent, Realtor -- whatever -- building code violations can be problematic for closings because:

Building code violations aren't inherently terrifying, but NOT knowing about those permit issues -- that's what is terrifying. Don't fret, though. It's easy enough to avoid that fright by just doing a permit search during the inspection period. ;-)

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About Author

Shelby Stoddard
Shelby Stoddard

Shelby has been kicking butt as a Property Analyst with PropLogix since June 2015. When she's not doing that, she really enjoys video games and Netflix. A well know fact: Shelby LOVES cats and shows it by decorating her desk in all things feline. :)

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