Contractor did not pull permit. What are my options?

22 Replies


I am in the midst of a rehab in Sacramento. The goal is to fix the place up and sell it. The work includes electrical update, plumbing, new kitchen, new bath, removal of one interior wall and addition of another interior wall. I've told my contractor multiple times that I want everything to be up to code and he needs to pull the building permit. He said he would, but then ended up not doing it anyways. 

At this point, the electrical and plumbing is done. The walls are up and the place is painted inside and outside. Getting a permit now seems hard and expensive. What are my options? I would really like it to be up to code, but I also don't want to tear up all the walls again.


Thanks for the answer @Aaron K. and @Frank Romine

I'd rather not take any legal steps. First, I don't have anything in writing. And second, my budget is already tight. Taking legal steps just costs me even more - attorney fees, more holding costs etc.

I was also thinking of just going through with the rehab without the permit, but I do have a feeling that de-values the property massively.

I would go talk to the building department and find out what they do.  No need to ID yourself.  Maybe ask about a "friend"  or that you want to buy a house that you know had work with no permits... how can you get it legal?  They might surprise you.  

They WANT you to get right... in Davis.  they just inspect, and if it looks ok, they bang you for 2x the fees. a steal.  Or they might say oh you are screwed... and then you walk and wing it.

Hi Simon I am a GC and I would first like to say sorry for your experience with this contractor. Unfortunately you ran into a bad contractor that does not display true craftsmanship and professionalism. I would report him to the contractor state license board. Also go ahead and do what the other person in the replies mentioned and go talk to inspectors about a “ friend” who got lied to by a contractor and now has completed work with no permits.