Are code violations “grandfathered”?
Are code violations “grandfathered”in?
First of all what are code violations?
Every city has its own rules and regulations called “building codes” that govern everything from spacing for roof trusses to the clearance in front of a toilet.
If homeowners do not comply with building codes during home projects, they become code violations. The owner may be on the hook for big fines, the cost of an expensive tear out, or be required to redo the project.
What does “grandfathered in” mean?
When discussing code violations, many times the listing agent thinks that all deficiencies are “grandfathered” in. Being “grandfathered” is a provision that exempts an activity or item from new regulations that would prevent use of that item.
In other words, the seller and many times the agents think that because the remodel was done long ago, that current rules do not apply. Not so. No code violation is excusable.
Why you should pull permits
Pulling permits is the only way someone will know if the job is being done correctly. Owner pulls a permit for the project and upon completion, a city building inspector inspects it to make sure that the project is in compliance. That assures the homeowner of the utmost safety which is the main reason for pulling permits.
The reason some homeowners do not pull permits.
- They think that not applying for a building permit will shave money off the costs.
- No one wants to deal with the city bureaucracy.
- Owner believes that no one will ever discover the code violation.
Can you really get caught with code violations?
Absolutely! Maybe your neighbor will turn you in, or maybe the home inspector (tips on home inspections) will spot the violation when you go to sell your home. Not only could code violations kill your home sale deal, but now, you have to disclose the lack of permits to the next buyer. Now that is a real turnoff!
The bottom line on code violations
The recommendation is always to play it straight and pull permits where needed. Before you begin work, check your local building codes and permit requirements. Most cities and municipalities have local codes available on their websites. Not sure of what to do? Call them.
When you need an expert buyer broker to show you the home buying ropes, call Buyers Broker of Florida 407-539-1053