I bought a home 40 years ago from people that di 2 unpermitted-unrecorded room additions, and today today the city says we can't live in those

Asked by Molly, Brea, CA Mon Dec 20, 2010

rooms. What is this going to entail? Will there be back taxes? Will there be penalties?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


David Alex W…, Agent, Newport Beach, CA
Tue Dec 21, 2010
there could be some health and safety concerns worth checking into. Do you need help from a local real estate professional? If so you know how to contact me or another professional here in Brea.
0 votes
Melissa Krch…, , Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Tue Dec 21, 2010
I had a similar situation where the city wasn't showing something as permitted but the County was. The people had been assessed since the early 60s on the addition but the City couldn't find it in their paperwork anywhere. Sometimes, I think it's less a matter of what was or wasn't done and more about 40 years of filing. I would work with the City to see how they'd like you to remedy the situation. You might want to have your REALTOR go in with you so they can help decipher how to move forward. They might ask for renovations but unless it violates a serious code, I doubt they'll ask that they be removed. You shouldn't owe any back taxes because I'm assuming that you've been paying on that SF this whole time. The only penalties will be the cost to make that which is non-permitted, permitted. Let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Mon Dec 20, 2010
WOW 40 years ago. No professional can render a virtual opinion for fact not involved with reviewing all correspondence he said she said and etc. Best confer with real estate attorney

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes
Anthony Mend…, , Orange County, CA
Mon Dec 20, 2010
You will not have to pay any back taxes because the city of Brea must send to the county assessors office a new evaluation with the approved plans and construction then you will be re-assess with the new square footage and new taxes will apply. If you need someone to take care of your problem with the city I can help you just send me your address via E-mail at anthonymendez@earthlink.net and I will be able to assist you or I will give a better assessment of the condition of property. I am writing to you as a General Contractor since 1982. I don't promise you any thing until I see the situation at hand but a lot times it can be solve without removing the existing structure.
0 votes
Faalua Ahsoon, , Orange County, CA
Mon Dec 20, 2010

There shouldn't be any penalties or back taxes since the additions were never recorded or re-assessed. However, if the additions pose a safety issue, then the city can order you to pull permits and have additions done to code or have them removed. Unfortunately, you cannot use the "grandfathered" clause in this situation since the addtions were not permitted and more than likely not constructed to code. Good luck.
0 votes
Willy Olsen, , Claremont, CA
Mon Dec 20, 2010
Better hope they don't tell you to tear those additions down. Go to the cities building and safety/code enforcement dept. and talk with them. They will have the answers for you.
Maybe there is a "grandfather" clause that can be used. If nothing else you may have to open up the walls so the work can be inspected to get approval. Either way you need to go talk with the city. Hope it works out for you.
0 votes
Joan Braunsc…, , Morris County, NJ
Mon Dec 20, 2010
40 years?!

I would say that only the town can answer your questions. I would hope there would be some leniency considering the amount of time that has passed. Remember, the big issue is safety. It is only to your advantage to know if the work was done right and obviously you are going to have to go through the process in order to get a CO for the addition and to sell in the future so I say the sooner the better.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Buying in Brea Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more