I learned after I bought my house that it is a non conforming property, should I have been made aware of this during closing. The town is on me now.

Asked by Pat, Brooklyn, NY Wed Sep 21, 2011

I recently bought my home in November from someone who flipped it. They made it a legal two family putting a bathroom and kitchen upstairs. I have the CO stating it is legal. Now the town is telling me the home is non conforming and that I would have to apply for a conforming permit to make the alterations that were done by the people that flipped it. To my understanding the home was a legal two family home and I was never made aware of this situation and honestly never even heard of it this being my first home I have purchased. The house was built in 1888 are they honestly saying that since the zoning and permit laws went into affect nothing has been altered in this house until 2011? Am I liable for this and who should have brought this to my attention?

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John Roberts, Other Pro, Island Park, NY
Mon Aug 5, 2013
Did the ad say Legal Two Family? Do you have anywhere in writing it is a Legal Two family.

Half the two families in LI are not conforming, are mother daughters etc.
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John Roberts, Other Pro, Island Park, NY
Tue Jul 9, 2013
Is the house worth more or less if not a two family. What are you saying your monetary damage is?

Did you get title insurance if so contact them, if you can get permits your own legal recourse is cost of permits.

Did you put money into escrow?

Are you planning to rent it out? If so why do you care abuot this
0 votes
Steve Vennem…, Agent, Pine Springs, MN
Mon May 21, 2012
The key would be did they advertise it as legal bedrooms if so I would seek legal advice from lawyer in your area. vhttp://www.nyhomescontractfordeed.com/owner_financing.html
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Robin Silver…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Garden City, NY
Thu Sep 22, 2011
What is non-conforming is not that it is a 2 family, it probably has to do with the fact that the property size is smaller than what is now the zoning requirement, and they were not allow to add to the home's footprint without getting a variance. Sometimes a good appraiser notes this in an appraisal, as one of mine did on a deal I was trying to do. The problem is that not all lenders will allow a loan on a home on a non-conforming use property without a letter from the town stating that the variance would be given, or are normally give. This property was also in the Town of Hempstead, which you are in.
I believe this also should have been picked up but your attorney, however only the most vigilant real estate attorneys would probably even know this. If you used someone who was a friend or relative, or picked the attorney who was the least expensive, my guess is they would not have.
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Annette Levi…, , New York, NY
Thu Sep 22, 2011
What did the title report say? The title report should have had the COs in place. The property was built before zoning codes, but when a change was made, the seller was required to get a permit to do the work and then a CO. If the title report said it was a 2 family home, then your lawyer should be making a claim against the title company. If the title report did not say it was a 2 family then you should file a complaint against your lawyer. They were responsible for reading the title and making sure everything was okay.
The listing realtor is supposed to check with the City to make sure the house was a legal 2 family before listing it as a 2 family. A complaint should be filed with MLS and NYS (realtors are licensed by the state).
Your CO is probably fraudalent since the City never gives it out unless everything was done right. You also have a claim against the person who gave you the CO.
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Mark Salmon, Agent, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Thu Sep 22, 2011
You absolutely should've been made aware of this and unfortunately it is now your responsibility to bring the property up to snuff. You should have recourse with the listing agent and/or the seller on this, but I would also put pressure on your agent as well for a poor job at due diligence. One of the first things your agent should've done is pull building records, assessor's info, local entities that matter to check that the everything is up to code, no illegal additions, etc. etc. etc. It happens a lot in my area....bootleg central! As recommended below, certainly consult with your attorney. If the fee is minimal then the risk to battle may override the reward. Weigh your options and do research before jumping the gun. Good luck!
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Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Sep 22, 2011
At this point it's in your best interest to consult with your attorney; he/ahe can better advise, consider a consultation....
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