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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33793
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I'm planning to purchase a house in Reno, NV. It turns out

Customer Question

I'm planning to purchase a house in Reno, NV. It turns out the place has an unpermitted addition, a well made, 195sqf one in a 1100 sqf house.
The agent tells me that the current owner bought this house in the same condition using FHA loans, so she means it has no problem.
I'll be paying cash.
What are my liabilities if I go ahead and purchase it? I mean tax is probably one, what else? Would I be liable for past use as well? How much would that cost me?
Thanks,
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney whowill try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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What are my liabilities if I go ahead and purchase it? I mean tax is probably one, what else? Would I be liable for past use as well? How much would that cost me?

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I highly doubt that any taxing authority is going to notice an extra 200 sq ft and try to impose any type of additional taxes on the house. And you wouldn't be liable for anything prior to your ownership anyway.

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As for risks, the only one I see is that if the local housing inspector got wind of this (and I can't really see how they would) then they could come out and cite you for the un-permitted addition. You would then have to see if you could go in and have it inspected and then get a retroactive permit issued to have it approved.

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If they refused, and issued an order to tear it down, you would then have to appeal and basically beg them to change their mind. The big fly in the ointment is that you know it is illegal and bought it anyway, so they may not have much sympathy for you..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 2 months ago.

Worst case scenario, what's my liability? How much would I need to pay? To settle, for late fees, late taxes, legal fees etc. And can you help me with a breakdown. It would be a guesstimate given the sqf I've shared with you, I know, but I need a ballpark. Thanks,

Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

There is no possible way I could answer that as it is entirely up to whatever agency might decide to pursue this... Housing Inspector, Code Enforcement, Health Dept, etc. And there is no way to know if they would settle with you or be aggressive and take it to court to get an injunction ordering you to demolish the unapproved structure.

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It could be years or never that they became aware of this so you could have zero cost or tens of thousands in fees, fines, legal costs, etc., in addition to the cost of removing the addition if you lost in court.

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But they aren't going to go back and retroactively reassess the property and try to charge you back taxes. And I can tell you from experience that the longer it has been, the more likely they would be to just let you get it inspected, pull a retroactive permit, pay a small fine, and let it go.

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thanks

Barrister

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