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Structural Problems

Building and maintaining a residential or commercial property may not be an easy task. There may be structural issues in buildings that individuals need to take care of from time to time. In most situations, the law has provisions for individuals to help them deal with structural defects in buildings. It is important for individuals to know what kind of defects they would be responsible for and what would be the responsibility of the tenant of the property. Given below are common structural questions that may be asked by different people.

Would Structural Defects in a Building be Reason enough to Terminate a Contract?

A structural defect in a building may be reason enough to terminate a contract if a real estate inspector can confirm that the damage to the building is structural.

What can an Individual do if Structural Defects in a Building were not Disclosed by the Seller at the time of the Purchase?

An individual may sue the seller for not disclosing any structural issues that may have been there in the property at the time of purchase if he/she is able to prove that the seller was aware of the defects and did not inform him/her.

What can be Done to Solve a Structural Encroachment caused by a Neighbor’s Tree?

The rules regarding trees on properties may be found in Codes 833 and 834. According to Code 833, trees whose trunks are fully on the land of the owner belong only to the owner even if their roots spread onto another land. As per Code 834, trees that stand partly on the land of two or more owners will be owned commonly by all the owners. If an individual’s property gets damaged due to the roots of a neighbor’s tree, the individual may abate the trespass and sue the neighbor for the cost of repairing the damage.

Would Squeaky Floors be considered a Structural Defect in a Property?

Whether squeaky floors would be considered a structural defect or not would depend on the cause of the squeaking. If the beams under the floor are weak and bend when people walk on it and that causes the squeaking, then it would be considered a structural defect. However, if the squeaking is caused due to the hardwood floor not being attached property, it may not be considered structural. The individual may get a contractor or house inspector to come and check the floors to find the cause of the squeaking.

What would happen if the Tenant made Structural Changes to a Property without Permission from the HOA?

If a tenant makes structural changes to a property without permission from the HOA, he/she may have to revise the changes to confirm with the HOA rules. The tenant may retain the changes if the HOA grants him/her an exception. If the tenant does not make the changes, the HOA may fine him/her.

What Steps should a Tenant take if he/she wants to make Structural Improvements to a Commercial Building and the Landlord does not Cooperate?

If an individual wants to make structural changes to a commercial building, he/she may have to first check the current lease to see who is responsible to make these improvements to the building to bring it up to the code. The individual may get a commitment from the landlord in writing that he/she does not have any problems with the changes. If the landlord does not let the tenant check the lease or make the changes to the building, he/she may write 2 letters, certified return receipt. One letter may be sent to the county code division letting them know that the landlord is not cooperating. The second letter may be sent to the landlord. If the landlord still does not cooperate, the County Building Code Department may bring an action against the landlord.

Can an Individual Take Action if an Association Refuses to Repair Structural Defects in a 25 Year Old Building?

According to the statute of limitations, an individual may not be able to sue the contractor for structural defects in a 25 year old building. If the defects are inside the individual’s condominium, it may not be the responsibility of the association to repair the defects either. The individual may be solely responsible for the repairs.

Knowing what would be considered structural defects in buildings will help individuals identify them and take action. Also, knowing who is liable to certain structural issues in the property will prevent individuals from taking unnecessary action where they don’t have to.
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