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Posted by
Klodian Hoxha

Where can I check if any additions made to a home are legal?

Realtors,

I have a client that is in doubt about the legality of a home turned into a 4 plex in the Montrose area. He is turned off by utilities not being separate. I know this is no unheard of and that there is no zoning there but what and where can I get something in writing that would put him at ease about any legal liabilities? Or at least where can I check to make sure this is in compliance and what can I issue him in writing other than my word.

Thanks

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Where can I check if any additions made to a home are legal?

By Klodian Hoxha   
Posted on Dec 01, 2017 in Topic: Realtor Only
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Realtors,

I have a client that is in doubt about the legality of a home turned into a 4 plex in the Montrose area. He is turned off by utilities not being separate. I know this is no unheard of and that there is no zoning there but what and where can I get something in writing that would put him at ease about any legal liabilities? Or at least where can I check to make sure this is in compliance and what can I issue him in writing other than my word.

Thanks
Status: Open
Viewed: 129
Asked by: REALTORS®
Posted: 1 week ago
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Platinum
Karen Sherrill
about 1 week ago
If a home has had the additions done legally, the contractor should have pulled permits. You might check with the planning department (or department that oversees permits) in the city it resides to check to see if any had been pulled in the past and the scope of the work. That would be the most direct way to confirm. Of course on the Sellers Disclosure the seller is also suppose to stipulate if they are aware if any additions had been done without the required permits. When in doubt always follow due diligence.


about 1 week ago
Silver
Michael Jobin
about 1 week ago

Based on the age of when the additions/changes were done and if permits were pulled, the permit information may already be purged. I believe they are keeping completed/closed for only 3 years. I built my home in 2008 and I just looked and all my permits are gone; I even used the permit number.

If major work and permits were done - the city would have required sets of drawing which they then archive. My suggestion is that you take a day (not kidding) and go to the permitting office and talk to them. You will get pushed from department to department, but you will get bits of information along the way. You may end up in archiving and if they have plans, you can buy a set. Since your buyer wants something in writing, the permit office may be able to provide you with something if it was done on the up and up.

You and your buyer should also come up with a plan B for your offer should you not be able to produce anything. In addition, if the seller is the one who did the changes, they should have kept the info for the permits and for sure the builder who did the work. If they are not willing to give you anything, I would say the whole thing smells fishy.

Michael Jobin
C&K Properties


about 1 week ago
Gold
Mark McNitt
about 1 week ago
If in the city of Houston, I would check with the Houston Permit office. I have attached a link to their site below.

Mark McNitt
MarkKnowsHouston.com
832-567-4357
Bernstein Realty


Source:


https://www.houstonpermittingcenter.org/code-enforcement/permits.html

about 1 week ago
Gold
Ryan Kohn
about 7 days ago
You can check with the appraisal district as well by pulling up the Tax records. They will typically note improvements to the structure. You can also check the type and verify 4 unit structure. Title would also be a good source for this data, they should be able to see this information without officially opening title or Harris County permit or planning departments.


Source:


http://www.eng.hctx.net/permits/Residential\n\nhttp://www.houstontx.gov/planning/DevelopRegs/

about 7 days ago
Disclaimer: Answers provided are just opinions and should not be accepted as advice.
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