I can’t understand the Code Violations

15 Replies

I have a home that has an absentee owner... it was wholesaled this year... keeps getting code violations...

I could live in this house as my first home and hack. It’s boarded up... still nice with needed rehabbing of course. Built in the 90’s.

I received the code enforcement violations, but I can’t understand it! 😩 Who do I take them to who would know? I want to know what they are? The fines? Cost of repairs? Is it worth it? Thank you.

@Simone Johnson

Go to your code enforcement office and have them explain it. Get face to face with the code enforcement officer and ask them how they would like it dealt with. Become friends with code enforcement, they’ll let things slide if you’re buddy buddy and they know you’re on their team. But not the violations you’re already served with! Fix it and they will stop bugging you.

Originally posted by @Nick Rutkowski :

@Simone Johnson

Go to your code enforcement office and have them explain it. Get face to face with the code enforcement officer and ask them how they would like it dealt with. Become friends with code enforcement, they’ll let things slide if you’re buddy buddy and they know you’re on their team. But not the violations you’re already served with! Fix it and they will stop bugging you.

Take a dozen donuts !!! I sent the wife with our own farm fresh eggs by the dozen & created a quasi-friendly, working relationship with our town dictatorship. We were forgiven on some archived 14 yr old unsigned/un-inspected permits but we still had a lot of work to do to bring the property up to IRC-2018 code. But it was worth it!!!

From experience if a building has been vacant for some time the gas lines need to be pressure tested, if the electrical meters are locked out or removed they need to have an ESOP once inspected & the required permit(s) signed off. There could be an outbuilding condemned or roof in bad repair, steps, deck railings not to code etc etc. If the water has been shut off some towns are requiring new lines (at your expense) from their mains to eliminate the lead pipe hook-ups they installed back in the dark ages. There could also be outstanding violations for unpaid city imposed grass cutting/trash removal etc etc. Remember to compensate yourself for these code violations/fines on the purchase $$$ agreement as it can be expensive to rectify. 

Have fun!!

@Nick Rutkowski Thank you! I will work on this! Now that you said that... One of the people at the neighborhood meeting mentioned that it’s at the end of the street, and they might be flexible with me because the house is such an eyesore. It’s the only one boarded up.

@Pat L. What a great idea! So apparently everyone in the neighborhood thinks the main code enforcement women is very unhelpful. And she is. One of the head people at the neighborhood meeting who has a relationship with her boss, the Lt. Who has been dealing with the cases against this house. She gave me his name, email, etc and said to CC her when I reached out so they knew I was someone serious about it. I will figure out a strategy to find them in person as their address isn’t listed, but I think they are at the local police department. I will bring something for her and her Lt. boss.

It’s been abandoned for over a year. It’s boarded up, high grass, not fully gutted I don’t think. They boarded it up when squatters tried to stay there. The back patio has broken structures. The house actually looks like it might be decent inside, but who knows.

The people in the area, including a real estate agent in the neighborhood said that it may be going under abatement soon. They want that house brought up to normal. It doesn’t stand out so bad because it’s at the end of the street. But they need it fixed. Lol. It’s 2 acres of land as well and I want to get someone in there and see what’s really going on.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to me.

I had code violation issues in rentals I had. For me, I hired expeditors from the area, they're familiar with the local codes, recommend the correct way to mitigate, and in the end, turned out cheaper.

One of the violations is an illegal apartment, would've cost $35K or more to have it totally torn down, blueprints drawn, and rebuilt. My expeditor were friends with the assistant commissioner, had lunch, the order was reversed, we had the blueprints done, minor changes made, the total job cost $6K including the expeditor fees. The expeditor knew the logic behind the original order, i.e. tearing down the unit, convinced the assistant commissioner why it didn't apply to me, and fill out the paperwork for the permits in a way to mitigate fees. This saved numerous often stressful trips to code enforcement, saved time and money in the process. I wouldn't be able to do it by myself, don't even know where to start, what to ask for, when running down to the enforcement office.

Coincidentally when the job was completed and ready for inspection, turned out the entire code enforcement staff but one in the county was arrested for accepting bribes, so we had to hire private inspectors of our own to inspect and file the reports, which was approved. Thinking back, it was either paying bribes, getting arrested, or paying expeditor fees, rest easy, and let the expeditor handle everything.

@Simone Johnson

Yeah people love it when you fix up the neighborhood especially your local government. If the code enforcer is a guy, remember this, “food is the key to a man’s heart.” That’s true for a hungry code enforcer who might be low on the totem pole.

Originally posted by @Frank Chin :

I had code violation issues in rentals I had. For me, I hired expeditors from the area, they're familiar with the local codes, recommend the correct way to mitigate, and in the end, turned out cheaper.

One of the violations is an illegal apartment, would've cost $35K or more to have it totally torn down, blueprints drawn, and rebuilt. My expeditor were friends with the assistant commissioner, had lunch, the order was reversed, we had the blueprints done, minor changes made, the total job cost $6K including the expeditor fees. The expeditor knew the logic behind the original order, i.e. tearing down the unit, convinced the assistant commissioner why it didn't apply to me, and fill out the paperwork for the permits in a way to mitigate fees. This saved numerous often stressful trips to code enforcement, saved time and money in the process. I wouldn't be able to do it by myself, don't even know where to start, what to ask for, when running down to the enforcement office.

Coincidentally when the job was completed and ready for inspection, turned out the entire code enforcement staff but one in the county was arrested for accepting bribes, so we had to hire private inspectors of our own to inspect and file the reports, which was approved. Thinking back, it was either paying bribes, getting arrested, or paying expeditor fees, rest easy, and let the expeditor handle everything.


Thank you for sharing this interesting situation. I honestly didn't even know what an expediter was. I will look for one as well.I need to keep building my list of people to have in my contacts. This is crucial information. 

 

Originally posted by @Nick Rutkowski :

@Simone Johnson

Yeah people love it when you fix up the neighborhood especially your local government. If the code enforcer is a guy, remember this, “food is the key to a man’s heart.” That’s true for a hungry code enforcer who might be low on the totem pole.

I'm on it! The Lt. is a man and he knows the community here. I will reach out to the lady who connected me to dig more too.

 

@Pat L. @Nick Rutkowski @Frank Chin

The donuts work!!!! THANK YOU! I bought some Krispy Kreme’s in and while I didn’t get the LT. Initially, I got the “unhelpful” officer to come out and she was THE MOST HELPFUL person ever! She walked me visually through the property and told me the downstairs needs a lot of work from squatters. She walked me through how to put in the proper open records request, issued a warrant for the owners arrest because they missed 2 court dates. 😮 She then gave me several alternative properties to look at and gave me the owners names and numbers! She showed me some multi families that don’t look like duplexes as well as a foreclosure that just went to the bank a few weeks ago and suggested I contact the bank to see if I can get it.

The Lt. Came and thanked me and after chatting with him for a while and realizing that we were both scuba divers, offered me his card and then told her to give me two more addresses to look at! He was happy to learn that I wanted to purchase for myself and not just invest because many of the people who have invested are racking up code violations because many of them are out of state.

I’m going to let everyone continue think they aren’t helpful 🤫 and grow these relationships! 🤩

@Simone Johnson as most of the responses have stated, dealing with inspectors / building department isn’t as bad as people sometimes think it is.

I have found the majority of the inspectors I have worked with to be pretty nice guys and gals; they are typically former contractors who no longer want to swing a hammer and like the security of working for the government. Their main job is to enforce code for sure, as it typically pertains to life safety and they want to cover their (and the jurisdictions) *** if anything were to happen.

If you go into the process with the intent of playing by the rules and wanting to fix what has been an eyesore, they are typically much more receptive to helping you out. Also, if you ‘play dumb’ a little, I have found the inspectors to want to look like ‘heroes’ and want to help you that much more.

Where I have seen people run into issues is where they are obviously violating the codes and doing unpermitted work to try to sneak by the inspectors; they don’t like this and will make your life hell. Also , if the job site is always a mess, they may be harder on you as a clean job site usually means a cleaner overall project

@Parker Eberhard

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my post.

I was so nervous to go there, and it was a pleasant surprise that they were so nice and helpful. Good to know the background on what most of them were in prior careers. I think that will be a great question to ask to build rapport and build.

The Lt. did seem annoyed with the people who don’t properly take care of the properties and I do think that my lack of experience helped. I do want to help improve the neighborhood and I think they felt that from our conversations. Great insight and advice. Thank you again!

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