When & why do code violations need correction?

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Old 06-13-14, 08:11 AM
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When & why do code violations need correction?

I've bought & sold 3 homes in my life and in each case buyer inspections turned up various code violations but never anything severe enough to be a "show stopper". I never had to correct anything prior to sale or transfer.
I often see advice here that violations "must" be corrected in order to sell the home so I have to ask under what circumstances does this go from a note on a report to a requirement of the sale? The only situation I've ever been aware of--pointed out by realtors--is when a buyer is applying for a FHA loan.
 
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Old 06-13-14, 08:30 AM
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I think it would depend on the seriousness of the so called "violation" and if it's even a violation, especially if it's a "home inspector".

Not HI bashing but, some aren't as knowledgeable as they think.

Also, would depend on what was code at the time of installation. For example, I've had people call about 3 wire feeders to garages and at the time of installation is perfectly legal.

Some HI's are famous for writing up "double tapped" breakers, not always is it a violation and if so, isn't that big of a deal.

Just my 2 pennies.
 
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Old 06-13-14, 08:31 AM
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Most of the issues turn up during a home inspection. The HI has no code enforcement authority to demand anything. Their job is to point out issues. Whether they are corrected is a negotiated item between buyers and sellers.
 
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Old 06-13-14, 09:39 AM
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I think some intelligence has to be used when reading a home inspection report but unfortunately some buyers freak out. I feel serious safety issues should be resolved. Like if the inspector finds a 30amp breaker connected to 14ga wire. Yes, most codes are in some way safety related but to say all bedrooms must be protected by arc fault breakers is pushing it. Yes, it's required under current code but 20 years ago those type of breakers did not exist and it was not a glaring safety issue without them.

The unfortunate part are uneducated home buyers that think the inspection report is gospel and want everything on the report addressed. I can only hope that the inspector takes the house's age and date of construction in mind when preparing the report.
 
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Old 06-13-14, 12:47 PM
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I understand that Texas standards call out the lack of AFCI protection a defect even if the house was wired by Edison. requirements like this do nothing to help a buyer or seller.
 
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Old 06-13-14, 04:27 PM
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I think it has to do with enforcement - just like I can get passed by you on the freeway and be able to say you're speeding, I have no ability to enforce the speed limit and issue you a ticket. Similarly, the inspector has no ability to enforce fixing of the code violations.
 
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Old 06-14-14, 07:59 AM
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1. An alleged code violation might be used as by a buyer to try to back out of a purchase and sales agreement that the buyer had remorse over.

2. Whether or not an alleged code violation would need imminent correction might be unknown by both seller and buyer and the buyer chooses to play it safe and demand correction prior to closing until someone (probably the seller) ends up showing (at some cost for a more detailed report) it does not need immediate correction.
 
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Old 06-14-14, 02:29 PM
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Around here, there are two inspections that happen during the sale/purchase of a house.

1) The home inspection. This is requested by the buyer and has no legal standing. They can't force you to make any changes or corrections. The buyer can usually (depending on how the contract is written) ask you to make fixes, provide $$ back, or if you don't agree, walk out on the deal.

Most sellers feel 'stuck' because they don't want to lose the buyer. But if it is a real issue, it's worth dealing with in some way since the next potential buyer may find the same thing.

2) The city/town likely requires (as will the mortgage company) a certificate of occupancy prior to buying and moving into the house. Different locales have different requirements. Most that I have seen are focused on ensuring the house is livable and safe. No holes in the floors, roof, secure railings, smoke detectors, no broken windows, etc. Where I used to live required GFI protection in all kitchens and bathrooms, etc.

The local government has enforcement authority on CO violations and not allow a new owner to move in without a clean CO.


Hope this helps!
 
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Old 06-16-14, 10:31 AM
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Thank you all. I regularly see advice here that "such & such will have to be fixed before you sell the house anyways" and was just wondering how true that really is.
 
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