Real Estate Law
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Good morning. There are a couple of approaches to take to resolve this. One, this should be a grandfathered situation and these government staffers can get out of control. An attorney would be helpful, but perhaps more helpful would be to get help from your city council person. These situations are usually resolved politically rather than legally...because while the government employees act ever so powerful with citizens, when the elected officials put pressure on them, they fold pretty easily. Two, go after the seller. The seller is obligated to disclose anything the seller knows orshould have known that a reasonable buyer would consider material in making thedecision whether or not to buy the property. Having improvements that were not permitted qualifies as somethingthat should have been disclosed. Someone in your position would want to send the seller a certified, return receipt requested letterdetailing the situation and letting them know that any costs and/or damages incurred due to this issue will need to be paid by the seller within a short specified period of time;and inform seller that if such demand is not timely complied with, there will beno choice but to file a suit against seller for damages. The letter would want tomake sure to specifically mention that this claim will be filed not only as abreach of contract case, but also as a deceptive trade practice action, whichwill entitle one to not only to actual damages, but also an additional amountequal to 3 times that as punitive damages. That should provide plenty ofincentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, a suit should befiled.
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