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Machinc
Machinc, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 815
Experience:  Has written home improvement articles since 2008. Earned South Carolina Residential Builders License in 1991.
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Just Answer, How are you today? I live in Fairfax county,. I

Customer Question

Good day Just Answer, How are you today? I live in Fairfax county, Virginia. I live in a townhouse community with a Homeowners Association. I am in process of replacing my deck. The contractor is requesting a Plat to apply for the building permit. I think that I received this five years ago when I purchased but now I do not know where it is. I contacted the Homeowners Association Property Manager. I was told there was not one she only had the one for the entire property. (I do not know what will be given to future home owner, I guess the one I get from being told I had to hire a surveyor). The Property Manager asked me if I received it when I moved in. After calling about five county government numbers zoning told me that if the previous property owner had not submitted the Plat for a building permit it would not be there. I did not understand why it would not be there if I got it when I moved in then who has it? I said no one anywhere has the Plat? To this the county government employee said that I could hire a surveyor. I do not know what to look for in hiring a surveyor. Can you help me to hire a surveyor? Thank you.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Rick replied 1 month ago.

Welcome to Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you with your issue. If my initial response doesn’t answer your question then let me know and we can continue our conversation.

The owners association should be able to provide you with a plot plan. That's what you pay condo fees for. They work for you! It should show all the building etc. The scale may be small but it should be adequate for a building permit. But if you need to hire a surveyor then just call around and ask what they'd charge for a plot plan for a building permit. Any surveyor can do this.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.

No.

Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
Plot plans are a often part of your papers with your home financing.
There may be a copy at the office where you financed your home. They may jot have been required but are more often than not.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
If your lender does not have a copy with your financial documents then a new survey may be your only choice.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
Another place you may find a plot plan is with your house blue prints. There is often a plot plan
with the location of the house included with them.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
Another possibility is the original
building permit ( which you have already sought ) but may have just not spoken to the right person , should still be on file.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
If your building is not ( freestanding) more than one unit in same building and the "lot "
is considered community property then you should apply to the HOA to resolve who is responsible for the permit.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
If you are replacing your deck as is and only making repairs you may be able to ask for an exception to the permit.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
A letter from the HOA stating there will be no changes to the original footprint may be all you need.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
Since the contractor is requesting a platt " to apply " it does not necessarily mean one is needed for your situation and location. This is something your
contractor could find out with a phone call.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
If it does come down to a survey you cannot survey property you do not own or joint use property.
If your Town Home did not come with an area designated as your private property then you would not have a plot plan or an original survey.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
Your contractor would need to submit their plans for the deck replacement. Present licenses and insurance in order to ask permission to perform work on the property .
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
That is to the Association.
They would in turn direct the contractor as to what permits are required and where to apply.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
Once the work is approved by the HOA and proper permits are obtained work may begin.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
Do not try to hire a surveyor until all of this has been approved and settled as you may not need one .
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
This just looks like a little bit of cart before the horse but can all be settled by making a phone call or appointments with the proper people.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
Start with the homeowners association telling them what you want to do. You can ask what you need.
Next meet with your contractor
to discuss what the HOA requires and if they want or need to meet.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
The contractor should be able to take it from there.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
If your Townhome does have its own private non shared lot then you can find a registered licensed surveyor close to your area on line. For small non wooded level lots the fee is usually very reasonanle .
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
This lot would be "deeded "to you/ as the owner.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
These are of course many variables . Get all of this clarified before spending any money on surveys or permits.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 month ago.
These kind of situations are usually cleared up pretty quickly and with little or no complications.