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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
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After Contract of Sale of Condo is signed if buyer finds out

Customer Question

After Contract of Sale of Condo is signed if buyer finds out there is no permit for alterations done, what can buyer do?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 8 years ago.
HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer. The other Experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know:
-What city and state do you live in?
-What country do you live in?
-What have you already tried?
Please explain the problem a bit more.
Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Please reply as soon as possible so that we can finish answering your question.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am in the USA. New York, NY. The condo is located also in NY, NY.
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 8 years ago.

HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer. The other Experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know;

Could you please explain the situation. What is the problem with the alterations etc.?

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Please reply as soon as possible so that we can finish answering your question.

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 8 years ago.

I would like to know if the alterations are defective or is it simply that there was no permit. Also if there are damages suffered.

 

Dave Kennett

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

For now nothing looks defective but the problem is there is no permit

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 8 years ago.

Based on the facts presented I don't see anything that would be a material breach of contract. If there is no claim of a violation by the city or state and the alterations are not defective then I really can't see the problem. You can file a suit if you wish to rescind the contract but it would cost a considerable amount in legal fees with no guarantee of success.

 

If you can show that the alterations are defective and affect the value of the property then there would be a more viable case, at least for damages if not a total rescission of the contract. Also, if not having a permit is affecting your use of the condo in some way that would be another reason for a possible rescission.

 

If you are simply looking for a technicality to get out of the deal then you will be taking the risk of a court ruling that this is not a material breach of the contract and therefore not rescind the deal. It is very difficult to predict the outcome of any court case so I can only offer my overall general opinion based on the facts.

 

Another factor may be whether there was some misrepresentation made about the alterations. Once again it would have to be ruled a material breach of the contract. My opinion is that your chances of success for a rescission are less than 50 -50 but it is your choice if you want to pursue the action.

 

You may want to get a consultation appointment with a local attorney to review the entire contractual situation. I can only offer a general opinion based on my knowledge of contract and real estate law.

 

Dave Kennett

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I don't want to get out of the contract but isn't there a fine if a condo owner doesn't get a permit before making alterations and when does that fine come into effect. Will i be at some point asked to pay fine for what seller didnt do and when i sell property it might decrease value??
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 8 years ago.

Since you were not the person who violated the code I can't show you could be fined for someone else's violation. You were a bona fide purchaser with no knowledge of the permit situation. Obviously if you are being fined you can and should sue the seller for the amount of the fine based on the representation that there were no violations.

 

I have been under the assumption that you simply discovered that these alterations were made without a permit but that there were no other problems associated with that fact. I'm also not certain how the city or state would even know about any of this. As I said, you certainly have a right to sue but I can't guarantee an outcome.

 

Dave

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
you are right. I did just find out that seller doesnt have permit for alterations he has done. i thought he had a permit. I was wondering if i should ask him to get permit before closing on the property. i have not closed the purchase have only signed contract of sale
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 8 years ago.

If you have not completed the deal and want to back out you certainly can use this as a reason. That is different than rescinding a contract once it's completed. If you want the condo but are afraid of a possible fine then you could ask that the city provide a release or asses the fine and let the seller pay. At least you have a chance to protect yourself before you complete the deal.

 

Dave

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
thanks very much!
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 8 years ago.
No problem and thanks for using our service. - Dave