Hi, I'm new to the real estate business and I have lots to learns. I just recently purchased a 2 family house and I'm thinking about partitioning one of the floors to make 2 two bedrooms apartments. I have done some research and I'm clear on the zoning for the area. My knowledge to this industry is limited but I need expert advise if there are any legal matters or other issue before I approach this project. Thank you in advance.
Sounds like you've verified the zoning department will allow you to convert it from two units to three. If you've not actually spoken with them, do. Just because a zoning map says its OK doesn't mean you can actually do it. I had a deal like this on the hook until the zoning guy pointed out how much parking I needed. There was just no way to squeeze it in.
Then talk to the building department. Building codes can be different for 3+ unit buildings vs. SFRs or duplexes. Unless the building is very new there are almost always a few things they will make you do as soon as you start touching anything. Specifically, things like GFCI breakers in wet areas (kitchen, bath, garage), arc-fault breakers in bedrooms and smoke and CO detectors.
Also very likely you'll be required to pull permits (which usually requires a general contractor license) and use licensed subcontractors.
Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC
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