Buying a home with code violations

Asked by Mady, Miami, FL Mon Dec 31, 2012

I am interested in buying a home that has liens against it due to code violations / illegal modifications.

Personally, I do not mind the modifications but if I pay off / satisfy the lien that the city of Miami placed on the property, can I KEEP the modifications that were done by the previous owner? The modifications were the addition of a room and a bathroom that was being used as a rental unit.

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Bob Galivan, Agent, South Miami, FL
Mon Dec 31, 2012
You need to tread EXTREMELY carefully with this home, as these types of violations can cost tens of thousands of dollars. The City of Miami will not give you the total amount due on the fine until the violations are cured. Curing means that the residence is brought to code, either by removing the violation or making it legal. Either option can be very expensive and there is NO guarantee that the City will reduce or eliminate the fine. Your first step is to meet with whichever departments in the city have registered violations - there are probably multiple departments involved. You need to get them to tell you what needs to be done to clear the violations, but you MUST understand that nothing they tell you is cast in stone. The final determination of what you have to do to clear the violations lies in the hands of the inspectors who issued the tickets or who actually inspect the job. BE CAREFUL!!!
1 vote
Yanoska Diaz, Agent, Miami, FL
Wed Jan 2, 2013
A general contractor will be able to assist you with your concern, they will be able to estimate cost to bring to code if at all possible otherwise cost to demolish. The liens are usually negotiable once you have made the necessary corrections. AAA Construction, a company that performs the CU on my Bank Owned listings in Unincorporated Miami Dade has successfully helped many of my clients.
0 votes
Steven Epste…, Agent, Coral Gables, FL
Tue Jan 1, 2013
NO, you will not be able to keep illegal addns unless you go through an expensive and lengthy process of legalizing the additions and even then, if the home is in a single family zoning you will NOT be able to use is as such, a 2-family home unless it is zoned Duplex etc. You may be able to qualify it as a "Granny Apt" if you meet that criteria and the stucture meets all bldg, zoning, electrical, A/C, plumbing, roofing, drywall, hurricane codes etc. You need to hire an architect, engineer and general contractor who are competent in these areas and whom, after inspections, feels he/she can get you an "As-Built Permit". The alternative is to comply with the City and demo the illegal addn with the proper permits and get it all legal again. The liens they will not negotiate and/or clear or even give you a payoff until the structure is in compliance one way or the other. If you want referrals to some architects, engineers, contractors etc. feel free to contact me during normal business hours at Ph: 305-546-5132 and send me your email and phone number for help.
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