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What if you were sold a house that had an enclosed patio that didnt have a building permit?

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July 06 2013 - Moses Lake
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Answers (9)

It depends on whom sold it to you. If it was a bank you are out of luck as they most likely knew nothing about the enclosure and typically have adequate disclosures to protect themselves.

If it was a traditional sale & you were provided a disclosure, then it should have been on there. If it is not you may want to seek legal council. At the end of the day though keep in mind you will have to prove that the sellers were aware. (I had a similar experience where the buyers called all the local businesses and found the record of whom ordered the work and were able to sue, but this was like finding a needle in a haystack).

If it was a traditional sale with an as-is contract without a disclosure you are out of luck once again.
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July 18 2013
I agree with Kelly Clarke's reply. I would find your appraisal and review it. Also review you seller disclosure (form 17) to see if there is any mention of it. It definitely should have been disclosed. It is possible the person who sold you the house had no idea about it either.

From what you have said it sounds like you may be stuck with either bringing it up to code or removing the structure.
 
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July 18 2013
You may have a case to go back to the appraiser that appraised your home when you purchased it 4 years ago. They should have disclosed the lack of a permit at that time.

As for now...if the appraisal is subject to the proper permitting, you would have to bring the patio up to code and file the proper permits or possibly remove the unpermitted addition, especially if it makes the zoning illegal. Again, it depends on how the appraisal is written and what the lender requires. 
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July 07 2013
Yes. You need to look at the seller disclosure.  It may be that the previous owner was exempt from disclosing it (i.e. a bank owned it, or it was an estate sale).

Find out what it will cost to get it up to code.
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July 07 2013
disclose it
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July 07 2013
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Sorry, the issue I'm having is I purchased my home 4 years ago which included an enclosed patio with no permit and it was never disclosed to us! We had the home inspected and appraised when purchased..... I am currently in the process of selling my home and the now buyers lender is requiring a permit for the enclosed patio which was built over 34 years ago! I pursued trying to get a building permit for the enclosed patio and was told it was nowhere near code! Don't know where to go from here!
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July 06 2013
It should have been disclosed. You and your agent also should have asked and then you or your agent should have verified either way with the city. You can't un-buy the house, so if you're concerned about the structure, find out what it would take to get it permitted. If your concern is more that the information was not disclosed, you may have recourse due to the non-disclosure. You'll have to determine whether or not it's worth your time and effort to pursue an action against any of the participants.
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July 06 2013
Profile picture for SoCal_Engr
Actually, the question should be...

"What if you bought a house that had an enclosed patio that didn't have a building permit?"

There's a reason for an inspection period, and part of what you were doing should have included verifying that all additions/modifications were properly permitted.

I am assuming that your local municipality requires the work that was done to be permitted. Is that correct?
Did the seller, or the seller's REA (assuming a traditional sale), say that the patio work was permitted? Can you document that assertion?
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July 06 2013
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Would you care to expand on your question?  You put it in the "buying a foreclosure" section, which means that it tends to be buyer beware even more so than a traditional purchase.

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July 06 2013
 
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What if you were sold a house that had an enclosed patio that didnt have a building permit?
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