Multi-Unit Question Indianapolis ~

6 Replies

I have a quick question maybe someone could help me with. I am typically a Wholesaler and haven't ever had a situation like this so looking for advice.

I just acquired a mult-unit building with extra detached building in Indianapolis, IN.

The assessor's site claims this building is a Tri-plex, but the previous owner used the main building as 4 units, and then he has the extra detached building as an extra unit as well. So in total, there are 5 leases with 5 occupying tenants. The previous owner has had the property a long time, and I don't believe he went to the county to see about making this a legal 5 units.  Now I know if you go from 4 units to 5 units, It's commercial I believe, but the extra unit is detached.  

I am about ready to call the city to see about how to make this main building 4 units and the extra building a 5th unit.  Questions:

#1. Whom should I call? What department?

#2. Will this open a whole can of worms, and will the city be all over me?

#3. Any other options?  Again, I am just asking as we just purchased this building and it was already set up this way, and want to make a legal 5 units, or at least 4 units in the main building as it's set up that way, and the whole building right now is grossing over $2800 per month, and like that part of it, but want to make sure I'm ok, if I sell it or keep it. 

@Janet Hocker, @jynell Berkshire, 

@Brett Snodgrass Very interesting situation! You are likely going to get some great input from other Indy people, particularly on the legal side, so for my input, I suggest you use this website (http://maps.indy.gov/AssessorPropertyCards/) to pull a property assessment card (pdf file) for your property, to see a detailed view as to how the assessor looks at your property. Just type in address.

Based on what you typed, it sounds that as far as the city is concerned, the detached building is probably a garage or some other detached structure (shed/barn), and the previous owner may have done a lot of unpermitted work. If you want the authorities to consider that a legal, living space, you may have an issue with the unpermitted work, and could, be opening a can of worms. Just my two cents based on limited information. Good luck! Keep us updated!!!

Originally posted by @Brett Snodgrass :

I am about ready to call the city to see about how to make this main building 4 units and the extra building a 5th unit.  Questions:

#1. Whom should I call? What department?

#2. Will this open a whole can of worms, and will the city be all over me?

#3. Any other options?  Again, I am just asking as we just purchased this building and it was already set up this way, and want to make a legal 5 units, or at least 4 units in the main building as it's set up that way, and the whole building right now is grossing over $2800 per month, and like that part of it, but want to make sure I'm ok, if I sell it or keep it. 

@Janet Hocker, @jynell Berkshire, 

We bought a house that was zoned as a duplex, but the previous owner had gone through public records to find where at some point it had an exemption and was a 3 unit.. According to him the city came in and was shutting down the 3rd unit... He said it was a nightmare to find his exemption and cost him quite a bit of money. I believe his statement to me was that the city was not going to let him change it to a 3 unit, so it was luck that he found the exemption and then provided it to the city. No grandfathering unless there was an exemption was my understanding.

Give me a call to discuss if you like... 

@Lee Smith   Thanks, That is some good information.  I am having me team tread lightly into this situation and speaking with the previous owner to try and get to the bottom of it.  Thanks, Brett

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