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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5436
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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I'm an only child. My mother died 4/12 from Alzheimer's. I

Customer Question

I'm an only child. My mother died 4/12 from Alzheimer's. I took care of her over these last 5 yrs. We had to get a 24/7 caregiver about 2 yrs ago so I moved out to the garage to give her a room to live in. My father enclosed the garage with drywall and added a toilet in 1965 - he didn't get permits. We had to have somewhere for the caregiver to stay and I had most of my stuff stored in the garage anyhow so I moved out of the house and lived in the garage. Mom died so I inherited the house but someone told the City about the garage and now they say I'm in violation of 4 city codes for occupying an altered garage space, made without permits. I understand these violations to be about $350 each. I didn't do this nor did I know there was this problem. Do I have to pay these fines when it was my parents who actually violated the city codes - more than 50 yrs ago?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, and Thank you for your question, Enclosing the garage with drywall and installing a toilet are not things that you did and the City is imposing a penalty on the wrong person because these alterations to the garage were made by you father and you should not be required to pay the penalty. In order to resolve this matter with the City, I would suggest that you go in person to the Office which imposed the penalty on you. You should take with you the Deed naming your parents as the owners of the property and this will establish the beginning of a time line which will prove that you did not own the property when these changes/alterations were made and that you should not be penalized for changes that were made by others and many years before title to the property came to be vested in you. Get the name and correct spelling of everyone you speak to, whether in person or on the telephone. Then make an appointment to speak with someone in person, someone who has the authority to remove the penalties that have been imposed on you._______________________________________________________________________________________________Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you, it will not cost you anything additional to give me a positive rating, and that is the only way I can receive credit, Thank you for understanding, Positive Feedback and Bonus are very much appreciated, If you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, Please rate a 10 as it gives me a greater opportunity to assist other customers on this website and is greatly appreciated, Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you, ANDREA
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there a law that states this? From what I've read, since I am now the owner, it is my responsibility to - I don't know really what they want me to do. I think this dwelling is safe and I haven't altered any thing from the original structure. My father installed the toilet and access doors of which there are two; an interior wall was put up as well to give privacy to the bathroom. Electrical done as well, but later and my mother did this and had a separate breaker box installed - still runs off the same bill but the electricity for this dwelling has it'd own breaker box.. I have the deed showing my parents purchased this property. But what backup - aside from common sense - do I really have when it comes to negotiating with the City?
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I understand completely what you are saying. Most people incorrectly believe that there is a law to cover every situation but that is not the case. If there were a law for every situation, we would not have enough buildings to house these books. If you go to the municipal offices where the property is located and you take the Death Certifcates of your parents, and any will that they might have had, that will prove when you acquired title to the property. You cannot be held responsible for alterations that ere made by your parents, or any previous owners. You are responsible only for your actions with respect to the property. And,their respective Death Certificates will prove that you acquired title much later than all the renovations were made, thereby proving you were not responsible for any of the changes. And, since these changes were made so many years ago, they should be allowed to remain by "Grandfathering them in. Please be kind enough to rate Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you, it will not cost you anything additional to give me a positive rating, and that is the only way I can receive credit, Thank you for understanding, If you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, Please rate a 10 as it gives me a greater opportunity to assist other customers on this website and is greatly appreciated, Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you, ANDREA
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should I ask the City Inspector I would like for the garage to be "grandfathered" in? I mean, ask directly? I've been told having the toilet there is a big mistake, and again, I didn't have it installed. How do I ask to have the garage to be a second living quarters when for one thing, the electrical outlets and conduit are not in the walls, but outside of the walls? There is a bathtub and a shower. There is a carport outside the garage that needs to be torn down badly. There are so many things not up to code, how do I ask for the garage to be allowed or not be fined for it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I apologize by the way for not giving you a rating. It closed before I had the chance. This will not happen again.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Legal Research on Case Law, Codes, etc.. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, again. and welcome back,
First, let me say that I do not know what you mean that the question "closed". If it had closed, it would also have closed on my screen, as well, and the website would have notified me that the question had closed.
Anyway, back to your question. I saw your request for Additional Services in which you requested, among other things, case law , but you did not specify on what subjects.
I mean no disrespect when I ask if you have ever done any legal research. It is a very time consuming task and, depending on what you wanted me to research and the extent of the legal research, it is a very time consuming task. It can take several hours, in which case, I would not be able to simultaneously assist other customers and in doing so, I would have to forego the income I would have earned in assisting other customers because JustAnswer does not pay its Experts anything for Answering the questions posed by customers, nor does JustAnswer pay the Expert for providing "Additional Services" requested by a customer. The Expert receives only a small portion of what the customer has paid to JustAnswer when he or she posts a question, but ONLY if the customer leaves a positive rating for the Expert and only a small portion of what the customer pays to JustAnswser for "Additional Services". If the customer fails to leave a positive rating for the Expert's Answer, JustAnswer keeps the full deposit and the Expert receives nothing. I am telling you this only because I believe that the customer has a right to know how his deposits are applied, and so that the customer will be dispelled of the idea that the Expert retains all of a customer's deposits. In fact, the website even prohibits us from discussing any financial arrangements between the customer and the website. I will not be able specify any amount for the Additional Services you requested, until you could be a little bit more specific in what you wanted me to do and give me an idea of the amount of detail that would meet your requirements. Or, I could give you an amount of 20 dollars, so we could get started, but that amount would be increased. I am a firm believer in giving a customer all the facts up front because I do not want the customer to ever think that he or she is being cheated or misled in anyway. Just let me know and I will abide by your wishes,
ANDREA
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It reopened but was noted as closed before. Yes, I did ask for additional research. What would be your rate for this?

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