Question Details

Smith, Home Seller in Ringwood, NJ

Need advice. My husband and I and one of my cousins replace an existing deck attached to our house. We

Asked by Smith, Ringwood, NJ Mon Sep 8, 2008

used the same footing too. that was over a year ago. We are now selling our home and the buyers said that their inspecter told them we needed joist hanger ain a few places and for it to have bolts showing that it is attached to the house. We took care of that request ourselfs. Now they are asking for us to call in the building inspter and get permits for the deck the we did over a year ago. In additon to this we dropped the price of our house 15K and said with that price that the house will now be sold AS IS. Are these buyers being to picky? What if we brought the building inspector in now what could happen?

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YES buyer has these rights not being picky they could be fined for violations rather be careful that having to demo a property. Anything that is added onto a home requires building permits and city inspection, the property could be in violation of deed restrictions.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 8, 2008
If a permit and follow-up inspection was required by your county building codes, then indeed you have to clear up this oversight. Otherwise the buyer would probably have to do the same thing when they eventually sell the house. The reasons for the governmental agencies to require permitting and inspecting of structures such as decks is to prevent potential failure of the structure and serious injuries that could result. The reason you are having to add the joist hangers is because you did not submit a permit where they would have told you upfront that these were required. The buyers are not being too picky. You will likely owe the cost of the permit and also a penalty fine because you did not apply for the permit before you built the structure. Sorry, but you didn't follow the rules. Don't blame the buyer because you were not aware.

Now that you know the deck should have been permitted and inspected, you will have to disclose this fact to any future buyer. If you do not do so, and somehow sell the house to someone who does not have an inspection, and there was an accident, possibly a serious accident, you could be held liable not only for the accident but face additional penalties because you were aware of the defects and did nothing to correct them. Take your medicine now -- much cheaper and less risky in the long run. Be aware in the future that you should always call the building department to determine whether or not any repair or improvement to your property requires a permit.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 8, 2008
It is not a question of fines. it is a matter of safety. And Liability. If anyone was hurt by a deck built without permits, your insurance company would not cover it because they do not have any legal notice (building permit)

My guess is that you will need to bring the deck to code. Most transactions require that any work done during escrow be completed by professionals. My guess is that you do not qualify, so the inspector may require further re-work until it can be approved by the building inspector.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 8, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
THank you for the help. I wasn't aware. We will call the building inspector tomorrow.
Any idea how much of a fine it could be?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 8, 2008
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