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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 100992
Experience:  Lawyer
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This is a question LAWYER. AND PLUMBER I live in Richmond,

Customer Question

This is a question for a LAWYER. AND PLUMBER
I live in Richmond, BC.
Several years ago I had purchased a town house which only had 1 bathroom. With 5 people in the family, obviously this would not work well. I heard from someone that I can install a portable full bathroom without a permit and it would be easily reversible.
I had called my strata manager up to inquire to see if this was true.
He said as long as I was not changing and basic structure such as the breaking of concrete and walls, I would be fine. I can upgrade and do cosmetic changes without a permit.
I also called the city hall and inquire about the SANIFLO system. I was told the same thing that it would be OK as long as I did not change the structure. I called again to confirm and they told me the same thing.
I went and shop around from plumbers and found a very well known and reputable plumbing company.
They told me the same thing that what I was doing was cosmetic and will not require a permit as it will not alter the structural framework of my town house.
It costed me $ 10.000 to put in very nice 3 piece ensuite.
Now, 5 years later as I am downsizing and trying to sell me home, I am now told by the city that I did not get a permit and what I had done was illegal and suggested that I remove my ensuite.
As I had not written nor submitted any form in (because I didn't need to at that time), I do not have proof except for my receipt of the work.
The city wants me to:
1. remove my bathroom
2. apply for a permit
3. and then I may built the bathroom again if it gets approved.
If it comes to removing the bathroom, I refuse.
I suggested that I can remove the drywall behind the bathroom to show all the plumbing and then replace the drywall again without ripping my whole (tiles and fixtures).
Should I wait for the city to sue me and then go to court and present my case or just ignore them or what ???
Would getting a statement from the plumber regarding the SANIFLO system help?
Thank you, San
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

You cannot get an answer from two experts on this post.

I am a lawyer. I can answer the legal issues if you like.

Or I can ask the site to move this to the list where a plumber can answer.

Let me know which you prefer.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i would like to view your answer. I have to go to work now and respond later tonight for the answer
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

Do you have anything in writing that proves they said you didn't need a permit?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No. However I found someone who did the same thing and they had inquired about the permit and was told it was not needed for this particular system. My friend who moved to Toronto was a witness to the verbal conversation regarding the no permit requirement.
I called the plumber morning and explained the situation and they will look into it as they said no permit was needed during that time.
However, the city changes by-laws frequently without notice and peoples situations should be adjusted to the grandfather clause.
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

Why not wait until you hear from the plumber and then let me know what he says and then I can provide you with a more complete answer?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok Thank you. This whole situation will either complete the sale of my townhouse or break it.
Should I call you directly? How shall I converse with you?
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

I cannot speak to you on the phone as the rules of my law society prohibit this because you are not my client.

Please get back to me by posting a reply once you hear from the plumber.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am going to bed now. I will be available after work tomorrow from 4 on. Thank you
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.

Just post back once you've heard from the plumber. I will reply after that.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok thank you. I just found a contact name for city hall. Will let you know what happens after the long weekend,
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.


Have a good weekend.