Building permit not fully signed of off

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Old 12-02-15, 04:09 PM
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Building permit not fully signed of off

32 years ago I got a building permit to build my house. I had the first few items signed by an inspector but did not have any other inspections. (I know, call me studid) I know it is built to code and all but now I am thinking of selling the house and I'm concerned about being asked for a building permit. Is that a possibility? What are my options at this point?
 
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Old 12-02-15, 04:19 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Then you have no CO (certificate of occupancy) either.... is that correct ?
A CO is like a final inspection after everything is completed to satisfaction.
 
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Old 12-02-15, 04:28 PM
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You probably built it to the Code as it existed 32 years ago.

If the Code has been updated, you'll be going "hat in hand" asking to have your dwelling grandfathered in according the specs that were in force back then.

Good Luck !
 
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Old 12-02-15, 04:29 PM
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I think 32 years will allow you to say you just don't remember. However, I have yet to hear of any bank or home inspector digging that deep into the history of a house. They inspect it for what it is now. Don't rock the boat and cross that bridge if and when you come to it. The town has been collecting your taxes so evidently they know you are there.

Bud
 
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Old 12-02-15, 05:51 PM
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I agree with Bud, they will be more concerned about the condition it is in now and if it meets the codes of today rather than if it did 32 years ago. They may ask for you to pay for a detailed home inspectors report.
 
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Old 12-02-15, 07:05 PM
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32 years ago I got a building permit to build my house.
I would be more concerned with recent additions, which doesn't sound like the case.
If by chance you do need a final inspection, hopefully the city will work with you.
In my area you see many unpermitted additions and so forth. It creates problems but I've only heard a few horror stories.
 
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Old 12-02-15, 08:08 PM
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I wonder if the civil statutes of limitation apply?
 
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Old 12-03-15, 03:24 AM
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Since it's been such a long period of time I wouldn't worry about. It might not be an issue. If it is - address it once it's brought up. Years ago a lot of residential/farm structures will built without permits
 
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Old 12-03-15, 03:42 AM
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I'm a Broker here in Vermont, and can say that for the past 10 years, in Zoned Communities, it is routine for Buyers and their Attorneys to ask for a copy of the Certificate of Occupancy just to verify that the place is in compliance.

We had a big lawsuit about 12 years ago, in which it was discovered that a Seller had added a 4th Bedroom without getting the Septic System expanded, and they sued everyone in the area: Seller, Town; Brokers; Attorneys; Zoning Administrators; and people walking by on the street.

Now everyone has to routinely verify that all building and subsequent alterations are in full compliance BEFORE a conveyance can be completed. I might be selling a house that's 150 years old that has had very few recent alterations, if any . . . . but I have to get a new Certificate of Occupancy.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 12-03-15 at 04:03 AM.
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Old 12-03-15, 07:23 AM
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Thank you all for your responses. I really appreciate them. I have some other questions: We have bought several houses over the years and we have never heard of asking for building permits or other permits. How common is this? I know that the house was built to code and, obviously, it has stood the test of time with no issues structurally. If it should come letting the building dept know, does anyone know what possible outcomes might occur? Since everything is covered, it would be quite difficult to tear into the structure to check framing, etc. Your input will be very much appreciated.
 
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Old 12-03-15, 07:35 AM
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Checking the paper trail for prior permitted work is becoming more common as much is now available through a computer search. But yes, I always advise new home buyers to review that file.

As for consequences, unknown. I know of two buildings built too close to the road that had to tear off sections of their house to come into compliance, even though both had been inspected and approved. On the other hand, there is always an appeals approach where you present your hardship and bow to their demands. Then, there is the legal approach if all else fails.

As has been stated here, you are worrying too much in advance. Not many home owners can put their hands on those papers and even if their absence is noticed in the towns file, just plead ignorance and ask for help.

Bud
 
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Old 12-03-15, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Isomies
". . . We have bought several houses over the years and we have never heard of asking for building permits or other permits . . ."
Yes, as property values have risen, and as this society has become more litigious, it has become more important for Buyers to insure that these details have been attended to. So it could be considered something that is becoming more "common". I say that if it has reached the backwoods of rural Vermont, then it must be far more prevalent already in the rest of the World.

A lot depends upon the political climate in your jurisdiction. One thing that can be done anonymously is to attend a few meetings of your Zoning and see how they approach their business. Also, their minutes and past actions may be available for review, and you could see how they dealt with others in similar situations as you find yourself . . . . all without revealing your identity or the location of the property involved.

Anyway, don't try to snooker the future Buyer . . . . there's no way to put a price on the value of sleepless nights while you're waiting for the other shoe to drop.

That's just my 2
 
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