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Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16227
Experience:  13 years experience in RE Law, including LL/Tenant, contractor disputes, comm'l prop. issues
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I have a few questions about permits . I am flipping houses

Customer Question

I have a few questions about permits for renovation. I am flipping houses in Charlotte, NC and I want to know
1. If I ordered a permit and it doesn't pass what happens.
2. What if I don't get a permit what happens.
3. Can an inspector just walk in my house for no reason.
I am just looking to better inform myself, permits seem to be about the city or county making money and nothing else.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 5 months ago.
Hello there ---I agree with you for the most part on the "money making" comment. While there are definitely situations where building inspections are needed, such as if there are questions of structural integrity of a building) -- but when they start making you pull permits to do things like paint your house or remodel a bathroom when there is no plumbing involved (or similar work) then it gets ridiculous. Turning to your questions.........- If you apply for a permit and your application is rejected then you can appeal to the town or city council for a variance -- which means that you are asking the town or city (or county) to grant you something special that is not within the parameters of the building code. Getting a variance is actually quite difficult and even with a lawyer they are tough to get because you have to show that if the variance is not granted it will cause you substantial hardship (an example would be a landlocked parcel that needs a driveway and there is no provision in the code for putting one on or near the property). -If you have a permit and the work does not pass the inspection process then the town or county will typically give you another 30 or 60 days to fix the items of construction that need to be repaired and then they will reinspect and "pass" the work. If you never pass the final inspection there are a number of things that can happen and it is basically up to the local building inspector what they will do. They can be very ugly about it and start fining you or the contractor (depending upon who pulled the permit at the building department) for each day that the property fails to pass inspection. Or, they may not fine you at all -- and they can keep giving you continuances on the permit for as long as it takes to make the needed repairs to comply with the code. Or, they could simply ignore it completely and the ultimate effect is that you will have what is called an "OPEN" building permit on record at the town or county building department records which may cause problems if you want to sell the house at a later date (because the mortgage companies who finance properties for buyers do not like to see open building permits and may require that it be taken care of and a final certificate of occupancy be issued before they will fund the loan).-Finally, if you or someone else is living at the property then the building inspector cannot walk in without a reason and must make an appointment to see the work/inspect. However, if there is no one living in the house and the site is open, the building inspector can and many times does stop by during the construction period to check on progress and to make sure it is all being constructed according to building codes. -Please let me know if you have any additional follow up questions. If not, can you please press a positive rating above these chat boxes in the star rating section so that I will be given credit for my time assisting you. I do not receive any credit for answering you today unless you press the middle star or the fourth or fifth star to the right of the middle star in the ratings section above. THANK YOU VERY MUCH MARY

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