Real Estate Law

Have real estate law questions? Ask a real estate lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Is a basement in a 1950's built house with a finished

Customer Question
Is a basement in...

Is a basement in a 1950's built house with a finished recreation room, bathroom with shower considered living space as it pertains to International Building Code? If so is an emergency egress by door or window required or is the lack of one grandfathered in?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have been taken so far? Has any paperwork been prepared or filed?

No. We recently bought the place and want to update and fix the issues in the basement bathroom. We just are wondering how code will look at it. Also, this is a transitional home. We plan to be there about 2 years then sell and move to bigger place.

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the house located?

Town of Union, Broome County, NY

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I don't think so.

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Answered in 1 hour by:
3/25/2018
Real Estate Lawyer: Attorney Wendy, Lawyer replied 2 months ago
Attorney Wendy
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 969
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney. Existing structures need not be brought up to code on a regular basis. It is only when renovations are being done that changes the structure that the need to bring the space or building "up to code" is generally required. In most situations, the type of renovation or repair that would require this would also be one that requires a building permit from your local building official. If the basement already had a finished recreation room and bathroom, one question would be when was that space finished and the basement added and was the egress requirement in place in the ICC's code in place at that time. In other words, if the space was finished up to the then existing code, you may be okay. The real issue will be whether the upgrades or repairs you will be doing will be considered substantial changes such that the space must be fully code compliant upon completion. Your local building official should be able to answer that question.

If code compliance is required, a recreation room is considered a living space under the code. Any habitable space used for living, sleeping, cooking or eating must comply and ICC advisors have repeatedly deemed recreation rooms as living spaces. A finished basement with a rec room and single bathroom would need one emergency egress, which could be a window egress and that emergency egress should be in the actual living space (the rec room) and not the bathroom. There are minimum size requirements for such a window egress and several companies actually sell pre-fabbed windows with all the necessary egress pieces and accessories (e.g., ladder). Some of those companies include Bilco and Boman Kemp.

I wish I could give you a definitive answer whether your planned repairs will trigger the need to ensure this code requirement is kept, but different building officials interpret the requirement differently; so it always best to speak with your local building officials prior to starting any project to determine the need for permits and code compliance. Though many homeowners opt to undertake such repairs or renovations on their own, once you go to resell your home, a buyer or buyer's agent may pull permits to determine if any updates were done properly; so it has always been my opinion to do it right from the start.

I hope this is helpful. If you need further assistance, please reply to this email. If I answered your question and provided excellent service, I would greatly appreciate your 5 star rating at this time.

Please note: This information is ​for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of this conversation.

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a real estate lawyerLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Attorney Wendy Your Own Question
Attorney Wendy
Attorney Wendy
Attorney Wendy, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 969
969 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC

Attorney Wendy is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

11,963 satisfied customers

17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

8,255 satisfied customers

Experienced lawyer

Ray

Ray

Lawyer

8,104 satisfied customers

Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney

6,208 satisfied customers

I have 30 years legal experience. Additionally, in CA I held a Real Estate Broker's license.

Dimitry Esquire

Dimitry Esquire

Attorney

5,526 satisfied customers

JA Mentor, multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

4,998 satisfied customers

Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

3,540 satisfied customers

12+ yrs. of experience including real estate law.

< Previous | Next >

Related Real Estate Law Questions
Bankruptcy? How after a foreclosure is a homeowner allowed
Bankruptcy? How long after a foreclosure is a homeowner allowed to stay in their home and move their possessions in the state of Texas? Facts: My home is owned by a single asset company that is being … read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
JD
19,878 satisfied customers
My HOA has sent an invoice for each homeowner to pay 1000
My HOA has sent an invoice for each homeowner to pay 1000 dollars for asphalt. There is one person on the board who is the treasure and his assistant that made this decision with no notification to th… read more
Thelawman2
Thelawman2
Doctoral Degree
1,430 satisfied customers
I live on a community street that the homeowners are
I live on a community street that the homeowners are responsible for all of the upkeep and maintenance of the street and common areas.. We do have a homeowners association. It is a small gated communi… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
12,222 satisfied customers
Homeowner gave a 10' easement to sewer district prior to the
Homeowner gave a 10' easement to sewer district prior to the placement of her home on the lot. Builder placed modular home on lot resulting in home being on four feet of the easement. The remaining 6 … read more
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor
Doctoral Degree
8,064 satisfied customers
I have a homeowner's association question. Our homeowner's
Our homeowner's association is still developer owned - there are no residents on the board. The association has been turned into a "club membership" and amenities have now been opened up to the general public. The developer is being sued by mother, and amenities are now under lien due to this loss in court. I do not want to continue to pay dues as I believe the funds are being mishandled - so need to know if I can do that. … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
Can a HOA initiate foreclosure if a homeowner refuses to pay
Can a HOA initiate foreclosure if a homeowner refuses to pay a fine or his annual dues. … read more
Jessica B
Jessica B
Juris Doctor
1,316 satisfied customers
What is the legal definition of homeowners dues in a
What is the legal definition of homeowners dues in a homeowner's association … read more
Jessica B
Jessica B
Juris Doctor
1,316 satisfied customers
I have been a homeowner in a recreational development for
I have been a homeowner in a recreational development for the past 4 years where we have been renting out our home for short term vacation rentals for the past 3 years in accordance with the covenants… read more
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor
Doctoral Degree
8,064 satisfied customers
For the recall, how can the homeowners know how many the
For the recall, how can the homeowners know how many the secret ballots the management company or the Board will mail out, and how to verify the number of secret ballots mailed out. And how the homeow… read more
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor
Doctoral Degree
8,064 satisfied customers
In Ohio, a homeowner owes the mortgage banks $144,000. 3
In Ohio, a homeowner owes the mortgage banks $144,000. 3 Judgment Creditors - credit card creditors - have liens attached to the property of $35,000. One non-mortgage creditor “junk debt buyer” of a f… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
My apartment requires insurance for international student
Hi my apartment requires insurance for international student who doesn't have an American guarantor. It is required each year with the renewal. I paid for the first year when I moved in. I didn't pay … read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
4,998 satisfied customers
Was South Carolina bill 218, Homeowners association act,
Was South Carolina bill 218, Homeowners association act, ever passed into law? … read more
Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz
Attorney
Juris Doctor
2,895 satisfied customers
Can a homeowner record or hire someone to record a monthly
Can a homeowner record or hire someone to record a monthly Homeowners Association meeting in Florida? Not a condo association... a townhome community that follows chapter 720. What notice has to be gi… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
What is the possibility of a homeowner being successful in
What is the possibility of a homeowner being successful in claiming adverse possession of land which was owned originally by the party that I purchased my property and this area has been maintained by… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
DO an HOA have the right to have homeowners paint the
DO an HOA have the right to have homeowners paint the exterior of their home just due to fading of paint … read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
JD
19,878 satisfied customers
Is it lawful in the stae of sc for an homeowners to trhanfer
Is it lawful in the stae of sc for an homeowners to trhanfer ownweship of a condominium building with many unites to their ownership so that they can control the water bill. They transfer my condo wit… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
My question is in regards to homeowners associations for a
My question is in regards ***** ***** associations for a maintenance provided community. There are by-laws and covenants and then there are rules and regulations. In the community in which I live, the… read more
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor
Doctoral Degree
8,064 satisfied customers
Can a homeowners association deny a homeowner's application
Can a homeowners association deny a homeowner's application to plant trees within his property borders because it has a drainage easement where the trees will be planted? … read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,963 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x