Code Violation / No Sale? - Posted by mike fl

Posted by mike fl on July 02, 2002 at 21:36:17:

Thanks for the input $Cash$. About the “super” though, and the mention that maybe they could “wipe it out”, maybe the way I wrote it gave the wrong impression about super who came out to see us. I believe he (the super) was very sincere in his effort to help us make things right with the least amount of hassle. He was a very nice gentleman who seemed genuinely interested in helping us get through this problem and was even willing to go back and check the microfiche from 22+ years ago in an effort to determine if the previous owner had possibly pulled a permit. That’s where the “MAYBE” came into play I believe. Maybe it was permitted, maybe it wasn’t. (And I have to admit that the way this gentleman responded to and handled the situation so far has been exactly the opposite of what I would have expected from a city/county employee with any sort of POWER over us little people!) :slight_smile:

Code Violation / No Sale? - Posted by mike fl

Posted by mike fl on July 02, 2002 at 17:20:23:

Sold our home (fsbo, and in “as is” condition) 2 weeks ago, which was to close 2 weeks from today … then yesterday, we get a “notice of violation” on the door that says we “closed in carport and added carport without permit and inspections”. I went down to “code enforcement” HQ and explained that my wife bought the house this way 22 years ago! Was told, “too late, it’s already in the system, nothing we can do”!. But then apparently showing sympathy for our plight, was told “you might be able to talk to a supervisor”. Spoke to “super” who said “I’ll stop by this afternoon to take a look” which he did. He said “yes it (the carport) IS very old but, it has to come down, it is a storm hazard”. “Understandable, and easy enough to get rid of” I said. Could have it down in a couple hours with a sawzall. He said the rest (closed in section of carport) probably meets “old code as it (code) was 22 years ago” and maybe … “MAYBE” we can just “wipe out the violation”. He said he’d try and find out if permits were pulled by previous owner back then. Doubtful but possible. So, here’s my question, assuming “no” permits were pulled and problem remains, how can the home still be closed on in 2 weeks assuming the buyers still want to buy? Get estimates from architecht and contractor and offer to pay for it out of closing? Suggestions?

Re: Code Violation / No Sale? - Posted by Matt (MPD)

Posted by Matt (MPD) on July 03, 2002 at 04:10:48:

Mike FL,
We purchase houses here in IL with existing code violations in almost all cases. Now I’m sure every township will vary on their rules on giving stamps to transfer ownership but in our circumstance all that is needed is for the purchaser to “sign off” that they will accept responsibility for the existing violations and will take care of them. They get the same opportunity that the seller had which is in some cases to “prove” that the violation existed prior to the code being changed in which case (in most cases here anyway) means that it will be “grandfathered”. I’m sure you probably know what this means already but for those that don’t, this is simply something that was done before new codes came into law and as such they become “exempt” from being changed by current law. There may be stipulations to this rule such as, if any part of the existing structure is changed in any way then the entire structure (meaning carport) would need to meet current codes.
In any case, long story short… if you make the existing code violation known to the purchaser and they agree to deal with it after they take ownership the township shouldn’t have any problem with it. Of course I’m assuming they’ll want the acceptance in writing (as would you, the seller) so there are no repercussions. Ask the officials whether or not they would accept the new owner taking ongoing responsibility for these violations. If the property is still habitable they shouldn’t have any problem.
Again, this is how it works in my township so it may vary greatly there.

Matt Yohnk
MPD Investments Inc.

Re: Code Violation / No Sale? - Posted by $Cash$

Posted by $Cash$ on July 02, 2002 at 21:07:26:


I am no expert on code violations, so what I would do is hire a certified consultant that has expertise in building codes in your area and get his expert advise. Have him give you a report on what needs to be done to bring your property up to code. Then repair or fix from there.

Make sure your consultant is not associated with an architect or contractor you want an independent opinion.

Here is what I find questionable about your plight. You sell the house, two weeks later you get a letter “notice of violation” the the Super comes out and says “MAYBE” we can just “wipe out the violation” I wonder if a Hundred Bucks would have “wiped it out”?

I really don’t mean to be cynical, but it sounds strange to me.


Re: Code Violation / No Sale? - Posted by waynepdx

Posted by waynepdx on July 03, 2002 at 24:15:28:

It could very well be the super needs to find a hundred or two hundred bucks laying on the ground by the carport.

I know of a guy that knows of a guy that knows of a guy, that greases the hand of a couple of different types of inspectors. To this day I have never heard of him ever having a problem of getting things past inspection.