What happens if I do not tear down something I am ordered to by the department of building and safety?

Asked by Johnfsullivan, 90068 Sat Mar 24, 2012

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Meredith McKenzie’s answer
Meredith McK…, Agent, Pasadena, CA
Sat Mar 24, 2012
Dear John:

This response assumes that the order came from the Los Angeles Dept of Building and Safety.

The short answer: you do not want to ignor a B&S order to comply.

The long answer: Failure to comply means that they will escalate their process as follows:

1. you will get a warning to comply by a certain date
2. you will get fined with a final warning to comply
3. the City will file a substandard lien against your property title, meaning that the property will be unmarketable

Municipal liens against title can only be released by the filing entity through compliance with the City's order. Once liens are filed, your penalty and interest on your fine will probably triple from your original fine, in addition to the cost of corrective work.

If you try to re-sell this property without compliance but before any substandard lien has been filed, the City of LA 9-A Report will alert the buyer to the Notice to Comply, which will likely jeopardize your sale unless you take corrective action.

Hope this information helps.

Meredith McKenzie
California DRE Broker #01142186

Keller Williams Realty
1660 Hillhurst Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

C - 323-230-9749
O - 323-300-1110
F - 323-300-1001
3 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Thu Nov 15, 2012
I would recommend that you take whatever steps necessary to comply with city citations.
0 votes
James Ryan, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Leesburg, VA
Mon Apr 9, 2012
Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated...tear it down!
Warm regards, Locutus
0 votes
Ron Escobar -…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Sun Mar 25, 2012
If you defy the city, they will eventually put a lien of sub-standard condition on your property title.. and they will refer you to the District Attorney for prosecution... they will charge you all kinds of fines, etc. and make you comply after all those charges you incurred.

If you feel super-strongly about your case and you want to spend lots of money to prove you are right, then you can hire an experience attorney (if you contact me I can refer you to one) and fight the city from the beginning... but it will not be cheap, and you are likely to lose, since they have more money and staff attorneys. Do not ignore the issue as it will not go away.

Best of luck!

BTW, I am a local broker and general contractor, if you want a more specific answer contact my office directly.

Ron Escobar, MBA
Broker & General Contractor
DRE 01460645 CSLB 917824
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Sun Mar 25, 2012
It's not wise to fight city hall!
You will likely get a fine from the city and if you persist you will not be able to see your home until you correct the defects.
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Sun Mar 25, 2012
I think I just answered this question on another thread. But in case you don't check back on that one I'll copy and paste the same answer here.

Believe me as a general contractor for the past 3 decades I can tell you that it's a battle you won't often win. Depending on the situation you could get fined daily at the discretion of the jurisdiction. Or you could have leins levied on the property. What's the issue. Maybe I can help guide you through is a bit. I'm not an attorney and can't offer up any legal advice but I do know how the building dept system works and have pulled permits and done projects in practically every county in the State of California.
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0 votes
isaac segovia, Agent, Whittier, CA
Sat Mar 24, 2012
I would recommend you speak with JAS Construction http://(www.jasconstruction.biz). They handle all sorts of cases that involve city violations, reports, etc.

The response by Meredith is absolutely accurate although depending on the violation report it can eventually lead to a criminal violation. I would certainly advise you seek additional advise from the above mentioned contractor.
0 votes
Deborah Brem…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sat Mar 24, 2012
Meredith's answer is good. I would, however, speak directly with Building and Safety regarding their processes, and their timelines. It really depends on the type, nature, and severity of the infraction.
Deborah Bremner
The Bremner Group at Coldwell Banker
REALTOR, 00588885, ABR, CDPE, eAgent, CSP, SFR, HRC, CRE
(O) 310-571-1364 DIRECT
(D) (310) 800-2954
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sat Mar 24, 2012
You really should be asking the department of buildings and safety the question, especially about any potential penalties involved....
0 votes
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