Home Buying in 07407>Question Details

Abc123, Home Buyer in 07407

I purchased a home in 06/2010.

Asked by Abc123, 07407 Thu Apr 21, 2011

I purchased a home in 06/2010. There was a permit issued to my realtor for plumbing repairs. Plumbing was completed after the closing but the Boro Inspector was asking for the chimney certification. I contacted the attorney and realtor they both said the CO was issued and that's all you need. Recently I receive a call from Boro Housing Inspector about the open permit . he told me that this has to be closed immediately otherwise he will impose fines for violation. Finally : I have completed the job for $1000 out of my pocket.
How can I collect this $1000?
I made a mistake by choosing Realtors recommended attorney. Realtor already told me neither he nor the seller is responsible for this. I waill send this information to attorney also. but I doubt, he will try to recover this money for me. What should I do?

Help the community by answering this question:


I'm a bit confused as to why the permit would be issued to your realtor? The permit is issued to the home owner of record at the time the permit was requested. Besides how can the CO be issued if there was outstanding permits? Do you have the actual Cert of Occupancy or is the realtor and/or attorney telling you it was?
It is the seller's attorney's responsibility to have all the proper Certificates of Occupancy and/or Continued Certificates of Occupancy satisfied for the property and improvement (house) being sold. Furthermore, your attorney should of also requested that the seller have these items addressed PRIOR to your closing.
I suggest you get your agent and your attorney on the phone and advise them to hack up $500 each or you will report the attorney to the N.J. Office of Attorney Ethics (609) 530-4010, as well as report the realtor to the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance. It seems to me that someone that you paid to represent you and to insure your best interests had put their pockets first. No attorney acting with your best interests in mind would of never have allowed you to close without a CO. Also, if you have a mortgage, your bank most likely wouldn't of allowed you to close/fund without a CO. So you may want to look into that as well.
I have attached the link to the N.J. Dept of Banking and Insurance below.
If you have any other questions feel free to post back to my attention.
Good Luck!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 21, 2011
Well, I am not an attorney and nor do I claim to be one, but I have a pretty good idea of things from experience and opinion so, this is not an advice section of Trulia, rather a Q&A discussion forum so take it as such.... I dont think the link below, on the other post is relevant to this situation at all.

"The fact remains that the realtor and the buyer's attorney had allowed ABC's sale to go forward with permits being left open without any funds being held in escrow or any route of recourse for his clients. "

You can remove the part about the Realtor, as the Realtor has nothing to do with the closing of permits or researching of permits for the property. The Realtor holds no funds in escrow and the Realtor is not hired to track down and resolve permit issues..That would be the job of the attorney and due diligence of the buyer.

Being that there was already an open permit, the buyers attorney should have checked for open permits or questioned the such items in attorney review. IF the seller lied.. Different story.. But the fact that there was one for plumbing would tell me that someone should have known, especially the attorney.. Someone should have had the foresight to check into it... or at least the buyer should have questioned it with someone. Again.. Goes back to due diligence.

But back on the other side, If a CO was issued... that is all that is necessary to close the transaction legally.

O.k.. ABC, tell us how it pans out!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 22, 2011

Well, did you buy a short sale? A foreclosure? At this point the transaction was probably "as-is" and your attorney should have had researched the open permits on your behalf and advised you to rectify them before closing. The fact that you state that the attorney recommended the Realtor to help you reads to me that you were looking to buy a foreclosure or some type of bank owned property. The Realtor should have notified you on how to get the CO and whom to contact, but the permit research and such would have been on you and your attorney.

Please advise what kind of sale this was as it makes a difference.

Looking at your other posts.. You walked this process thru from June through December and cleared another permit.. And it sounds as though you were in on the process from the beginning, so why the questions 6 month later? Due diligence is the keyy to every transaction.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 22, 2011
The Certificate of Re-Occupancy was issued, which basically tells you that the house is "up-to-code" and that there was no outstanding permits against the house at the time of the sale. So with that being said; I can't understand as to why the town would come back to you 6 months later?

If you want, please feel free to call me to further discuss this. It could just be a clerical mistake or someone over looked it. Anyway feel free to give me a call.
201-290-6320 - Thanks, Craig
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 25, 2011
ADR Services,
I do have the original certificate of Re-Occupancy & my name is there as a buyer. Dated 2 days after the closing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 23, 2011
Best to confer with an attorney involves legal issue

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 22, 2011
Mr. Sacktig,

I agree with you in that the facts of ABC's sale are absolutely of importance.
Additionally, I whole heartily agree with you in saying that due diligence is vital to every transaction. In fact that has been the case since 1532 when the Latin term "Caveat Emptor" was first used to "let the buyer beware". However, I feel that by the buyer retaining an attorney to represent him in the purchase process is an act of due diligence in and of itself. Again, I revert back to the fact that the buyer had hired and paid an attorney, as well as an agent to direct the buyer in a manner that insures him that due diligence is, or has been done on his behalf.
Furthermore, the Statute of Limitations on Legal Malpractice is 6 years in New Jersey. In fact, the clock on that 6 years does not begin to run until "the client suffers actual damage and discovers, through the use of reasonable diligence, the facts essential to the malpractice claim." (I have attached a link stating the facts relating to the case law reflecting such info). And although this case has been challenged, 6 months is not a long period of time when dealing with buying a house as well as waiting on ANY municipality when it comes to getting permits, inspections, approvals as so on.
In closing the fact that 6 months has gone by is moot. The fact remains that the realtor and the buyer's attorney had allowed ABC's sale to go forward with permits being left open without any funds being held in escrow or any route of recourse for his clients.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 22, 2011
Thanks to every one. Very helpful information. I have submitted this invoice to attorney's office today. most probably he will get back to me next week.
By the way it was neither a short sale nor a foreclosure.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 22, 2011
Great answer,Alternate Dispute. Quite thorough and I learned quite a bit.
Thanks for the info and specific resource contact info.
Chris Gubb
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 22, 2011
I am not sure who you wish to collect the $1000 from? The REALTOR, it is not his chimney? The Attorney, it is not his chimney?

If chimney inspections are common in your area, why was this not addressed in your contract? You mentioned a chimney certification, but $1000 seems excessive for a chimney that is in working order.
Was the chimney defective? If repairs were necessary that would explain the high cost. Did you do a home inspection? If you did why was this issue not raised?

Since you, the Buyer, or the Seller were the only two that benefit from this certifcation then one of you should bear the cost. The only one logically you could collect from was the previous Seller, if he knew the chimney was defective and did not disclose it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 21, 2011
Did you ever get a sellers disclosure which would have been signed by the seller and the buyer being
yourself. This is not mandatory in NJ however if this was given to you and disclosed then there is nothing you can do. If your sellers disclosure stated it was inspected and it wasn't then maybe you can send a letter to the real estate commission however since you already closed almost a year ago not sure what you can do.
Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 21, 2011
I don't know that you could collect on this.

I read what you wrote several times, and I'm still puzzled that you authorized your agent to have anything to do with that permit. (Handling permits is outside the expertise of most agents.) Your contractor should have pulled the permits, and filed the appropriate releases. You didn't mention in your explanation whether or not you had the Boro Inspector to reinspect the property after your contractor(s) made the repairs. That's your responsibility as the current property owner to take care of all of that; the seller's responsibilities ended after you closed that sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 21, 2011
This is a bit confusing for me to answer. You thought to discuss this with an attorney is sound.

Permits are usually issued to the contractor or homeowner. I don't understand why the Realtor was issued a permit. Usually the Certificate of Occupancy is only issued after everything is signed off by the Inspector. Can you go to the city and ask why the CO was issued without the signoff?
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 21, 2011
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