Duplex or quadplex?

9 Replies

Pensacola BPers! Ran across an opportunity on a quadplex, however, doing my research, public record classifies this property as a duplex. How do I find out if it is permitted to be a quadplex? If it is a duplex, what is the typical process & cost to have the property legally recognized as a quad?

Best bet is to pop down to the code control department on Fairfield and have a chat with them.

However, what are you finding that suggests it's a duplex? The county records will show multi family less than 9, and if it's two buildings or two storeys, will just show base layout of each building and/or level. This doesn't mean it's a duplex, just two buildings/storeys.

Originally posted by @James DeRoest :

Best bet is to pop down to the code control department on Fairfield and have a chat with them.

However, what are you finding that suggests it's a duplex? The county records will show multi family less than 9, and if it's two buildings or two storeys, will just show base layout of each building and/or level. This doesn't mean it's a duplex, just two buildings/storeys.

 Great idea James. The records reveal only 2 dwelling units. I expected to see 4 if it's permitted, correct? 

I am not sure how things work in Florida, but up here in Connecticut we recently kicked the tires on a legal 2-family that was being used as a 3 family. We asked the city what would go into making the property a legal 3 unit. His response was "the only way it would maybe be worth it is if you got the property for free"
Originally posted by @Jay Helms :
Originally posted by @James DeRoest:

Best bet is to pop down to the code control department on Fairfield and have a chat with them.

However, what are you finding that suggests it's a duplex? The county records will show multi family less than 9, and if it's two buildings or two storeys, will just show base layout of each building and/or level. This doesn't mean it's a duplex, just two buildings/storeys.

 Great idea James. The records reveal only 2 dwelling units. I expected to see 4 if it's permitted, correct? 

 You really cannot tell much from the county records in Escambia at times. For instance, if the permitting is old, then it's not on public records for instance.

If you want to send me the address I will see what I can dig up and give you an opinion. Don't worry, genuinely not interested in taking this from you.

Originally posted by @Michael Noto :
I am not sure how things work in Florida, but up here in Connecticut we recently kicked the tires on a legal 2-family that was being used as a 3 family.

We asked the city what would go into making the property a legal 3 unit. His response was "the only way it would maybe be worth it is if you got the property for free"

Trouble is that in Escambia, it could either be inside Pensacola city limits or in the county. (You can tell on public records, city or county mtsu), and between the two they are totally different. The building inspections departments have totally different attitudes, the environmental people are very different, the permits required are very different and so forth.

It's why a lot of landlords stay outside city limits. We will only buy within city limits if the deal is too good to miss. And it's also why a lot of tradesmen hate city limits as well. tradesmen surcharge work in city limits.

Suddenly occurred to me, how many electric meters are there?

If there are 4, then at some point permits were pulled. Gulf Power will not supply service to a unit unless a permit was pulled, and the meter can inspected. (Or if it's really old, then it's a Gulf Power meter can, but again, a permit must have been pulled for it be connected). This may or may not show in public records.

Check the county or city assessors office they can usually tell you if it is a duplex or something else also the tax records and deed will give a more exact description of the property. However if it is a legal duplex and you want to have it accepted as a legal 4 plex the process is extensive and you have to prove it has been used as a 4 plex for x number of years with proof of mailings and having different mailing addresses for each unit. The process is called getting a, " Variance" Are there 4 meters electric , water and gas? anything that shows it has been extensively and historically used as a 4 plex if not chances are you will not get approved and then that will bring a issue up for the owner with code enforcement. 

If you simply want to verify for yourself what is the legal use of the building whether duplex or 4 plex I would make no mention of it currently being used as a 4 plex just say you are researching the legal use of that building. 

Originally posted by @James DeRoest :

Suddenly occurred to me, how many electric meters are there?

If there are 4, then at some point permits were pulled. Gulf Power will not supply service to a unit unless a permit was pulled, and the meter can inspected. (Or if it's really old, then it's a Gulf Power meter can, but again, a permit must have been pulled for it be connected). This may or may not show in public records.

 There is one. All utilities are currently paid by the homeowner. 

Originally posted by @Jay Helms :
Originally posted by @James DeRoest:

Suddenly occurred to me, how many electric meters are there?

If there are 4, then at some point permits were pulled. Gulf Power will not supply service to a unit unless a permit was pulled, and the meter can inspected. (Or if it's really old, then it's a Gulf Power meter can, but again, a permit must have been pulled for it be connected). This may or may not show in public records.

 There is one. All utilities are currently paid by the homeowner. 

 That's not good.

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