I am not an attorney, but I'm going to offer you my professional opinion since I've been in this situation before. I don't think it will take 4-10wks, first off. But I don't think you're going to have recourse against the seller since it's typical in all real estate purchases for contracts/escrows to be 30 days.
See, it's kind of a double edged sword here; On the one hand, the Seller Must disclose what they know about the property to you. If the current seller is the one who did the additions, then it's likely that if 20 days into your escrow you're just now finding out that the additions are not permitted, it sounds to me like the Seller purposely lied or withheld information to you that they should have otherwise disclosed.
On the other hand, if the additions were made a long time ago, before the current owner moved in & if they didn't investigate proper permits before they moved in (which is stupid, but happens), they can just say "I didn't know" & it's on You, because You should have found this out during Your Due Diligence period.
If you knew there were additions on the property, within the 1st 5 days of your Due Diligence period you should have been checking with the city re; permit history. If you go to the seller looking for recourse based on this, they're just going to say "Check the RPA, you're supposed to look for this on your own as part of your inspection period."
Again, for my own safety I need to say, I'm not an attorney, these are my professional opinions.
On Monday, you need to call the city or check the city website (many cities make it easy now to check permit history by Street, online) & get the permit records. If permit records do not exist, you need to have the city building inspector come out & they will tell you if the work was done correctly & to code. If not, they will tell you what needs to be done to bring it to code so it Can be permitted.
I suggest you call your landlord immediately & tell them about your escrow & situation & ask for an extension on the lease. Your landlord has likely bought & sold at least a few properties before & will hopefully understand that there are bumps in the road in any escrow, yours being a slightly larger bump. Hopefully your landlord has not signed a new lease yet with another tenant,,,they're normally only concerned about not having a vacant property for a month & will be happy to get another month rent or so from you.
Shoot me an email directly or give me a call if you'd like to discuss this further, I don't look back on this same Trulia posting for Replies or Answers posted after mine.
Emily S. Knell
Realtor Since 1996
Realty ONE Group