Steps to follow while selling a house with unpermitted work

If you are looking for ways to sell a house with unpermitted work then you might have gotten an idea from surveying multiple sources that it isn’t easy.

When selling a house with unpermitted work, there are a lot of things you need to remain focused on before inspection uncovered your unpermitted work. If this happens, you can lose thousands of dollars along with a potential lawsuit.

Selling a house with unpermitted work and without proper process can have multiple financial and legal repercussions. Not revealing the unpermitted work on the time of selling to buyers can be the reason for being sued when he finds out that you have done an unpermitted work on the house when you owned it. You would be still legally obligated for the unpermitted work if the work was carried out by the person who owned the house before you.

What is unpermitted work
Source: justinhavr

Therefore, it is crucial to understand unpermitted work and everything that is connected to it.

What is unpermitted work?

When you want to carry out maintenance work at your house, you have to take permission from the Building and Safety Department. This also depends on the local building code ordinance that every state regulates. If you or anyone else that resides in your house and wants to make changes to the basement, bedrooms, or walls, then he must take a permit before doing it. Failing to obtain such permits will result in serious problems when you want to sell your house.

How do Permits work?

The laws for work permits vary greatly depending on the state you live in. For example, it’s vital to comply with California Building Standards Code when building work is planned in the statutes of California. With this code, any new construction or extension in the building requires a permit from the state’s building officers. Through this permit, you are allowed to construct and carry out the work in your building or house, but not other than the work that is outlined in the application or permit order. The first step in amending your house is to contact your local building authority office to help you through the legal permit process.

How to identify if your house has an unpermitted work
Source: themlsonline

Why your home might have unpermitted work?

If you have carried out construction without a permit to save some dollars then it’s obvious that you act ignorant while you know that the permit is required. Many DIY enthusiasts do not know that making lifelong changes to your home needs permission. Possibly people tried to ignore the fact that they need permission and assume that nobody will notice the change or they would never be in a situation to sell their homes. This mindset is fairly common and in some cases, people avoid getting into the hassle of obtaining permits due to its price.

When do you need to disclose?

While you decide to sell a house with unpermitted work, you need to disclose to the buyer and show the history of extensions and constructions the house has been through. If you don’t, then many state laws back up the new owner to make potential charges against you with fraud allegations while selling the house. Usually, there’s a disclosure that you have to sign before selling your house that says the house has not been carried out with unpermitted work and this disclosure form is a crucial part of the sale process.

How to identify if your house has unpermitted work?

If the unpermitted work has been carried out when you are living in the house then it’s no secret that you don’t know about it. But if you don’t for instance then it’s high time to dig around the history to check. This may sound daunting, but it’s rather easy than to drag yourself for the court trials fighting against an unpermitted work lawsuit.

unpermitted-work-in-home
Source: prospectgroup

You can check your city or county records for this purpose. Your building and planning department will help you look for the original plan of your house which keeps the records of the permits that your local area might have been through all these years.

Get a copy of an original plan of your house and compare it with the structure it has now. From here, you will find out if any unpermitted work has been done to your house which the department doesn’t have a record of. If you are planning to sell your house, you don’t need an inspection to do it, you can check everything by just having an original plan for it.

What to do for selling a house with unpermitted work?

Now you have an original plan and you have found out the amendments that have been made without proper permissions. You need solutions that are fast and effective as you have to sell the house without getting into an awkward position.

You can attempt following procedures to avoid unwanted legal obstacles in selling your home.

How-to-Handle-Unpermitted-Work
Source: texaspatiobuilder

Remove work

If something is simply pasted to make improvements to your house, then removing them would be the best option. But sometimes, you need to spend more on just removing something properly that actually added value to your house. But it is not constructive to sell your house with the improvements done without a permit.

Get Permit

Another option is to bring the improvements into notice by obtaining a permit from the Building and planning officials. You can easily get the permit if you could explain to the authorities that the improvements were already there when you bought the house, then possibly they would not bring the inspection and remove the work but give you a permit and allow you to have the work in place. It will be a better option to have the full value of your house that might decrease when you pull off the improvements and your house would look like a mess. 

Even though you might not be able to sell your house as it is when you know some improvements are done without a permit. To shun every possibility of facing legal remedies, follow a proper process while you decide to carry our work or sell your house.

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