STOP WORK ORDER AFTER RENOVATION IS COMPLETE

13 Replies

I got a stop work order 3 months after the work is completed. Building inspector wants to come in and check out all things that were done. We did not do anything structural. Everything is done according to the code but I want to know what are my options here in Baltimore City, Maryland. 

It was a complete rehab. What are my options here, if any one dealt with similar situation before? 

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@Raj Pathak you need to be more specific as to what was done to the property. Some locals require permits to change your front door, to change a toilet, to change the color of your house. Permits in most locals are required to do any plumbing and electrical, you need to see what is required and what isn't required to have a permit by speaking with the Inspector. Are you currently selling the property? Building inspectors cannot demand they enter the property unless they have a court order. They cannot assume certain changes were made u less they have something to compare it to. Alot of flippers don't realize this, but alot of locals are paying people to go thru the mls and see what's being renovated without permits. Permits also = higher assessed value, so trust me most major cities are broke and they're looking hard for the cash. If the proper was listed on the MLS before hand most deff the building dept k ew its condition and has an idea of what was changed.

It was a gut rehab. (No structural changes). Building inspector saw mls and (looked at the specifics as we marketed that way). Since he put  a"Stop Work Order" almost after 2.5 months of renovation being fully completed. 

Building inspector called me and said to be upfront with him about all renovation being done in the property. He said he saw the advertisement in the zillow. Now, he said he wants to tour the property inside with me, what should I do ? 

@Raj Pathak  
     said to be upfront with him   .  .  .   said he wants to tour the property inside with me    
     what should I do ?

Be up front with him and let him tour the property with you.

Basically you are already screwed. You can only make it worse by pissing off the inspector. Be respectful and hope he takes it easy on you.

Did you use licensed contractors? That may help. You can say you thought it was their job to get the permits.

You took a big risk by not pulling permits. First the inspector can ask that you open up the walls so they can inspect the work behind the walls. Next many agents will see that a full rehab has been done and ask if permits were pulled to protect the buyer.  Fortunately in today's competitive market buyers may not demand that. Good luck

Originally posted by @Raj Pathak :

It was a gut rehab. (No structural changes). Building inspector saw mls and (looked at the specifics as we marketed that way). Since he put  a"Stop Work Order" almost after 2.5 months of renovation being fully completed. 

Building inspector called me and said to be upfront with him about all renovation being done in the property. He said he saw the advertisement in the zillow. Now, he said he wants to tour the property inside with me, what should I do ? 

It sounds like you put yourself in a tough situation by doing a full gut renovation without pulling permits. You are at the mercy of the inspector now so give him whatever tours of the property he wants and don't try to hide anything from him. The easier you make this for the inspector, the better the outcome ultimately will be for you.

There's no sugar coating this though - its going to cost you time and money. 

When you say "full gut"  what does that mean?  I assume that means all drywall was taken off and the home stripped to the studs.

If that is the case, then you should have pulled a permit.  The inspectors want to see that enough nails or screws were used when hanging the new drywall.  If you did strip down to the studs did you redo all the wiring?  Inspector would want to see that too.  Did you do new copper and DWV piping?  Again, inspector would want to see that.

I am a General Contractor ( and RE Broker)  and have been through this experience many times with customers.  The inspector may ask you to open up a few sample walls to check inside for proper work practices.  


Did you do a new shower?  He will probably want to wet test the pan.  ARe GFCI outlets in the right places? AFCI protection in the bedrooms?  

He will come in and do his checklist.  In all likelihood it won't be that bad.  Cooperate, plead ignorance and do what they ask.

And let us know how it goes. 

It is not that crazy.

Dont lie like "I found this way" or it was already done etc.......

They know  what is done, if you are up front they can be nice and help you out.

Since it is complete rehab, you will be opening  drywall,not everywhere just specific areas, and along the side, they will tell you where, open that up, and as long as it is insulated, rest is done correctly, you should not have much problem.

Obviously, there will be some cost to redoing the drywall etc.... but you should have pulled those permits anyway.

Good Luck though!!!

Originally posted by @Raj Pathak :

How about if I do not want to sell the property, is there a fine I could pay instead?

It depends on what the inspector decides. The fact you aren't going to keep it, I don't think is a factor at all. You may have a fine, be required to pull a permit, open the wall for inspection or all three. It is up to the inspector. 

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Be honest with inspector, and be NICE. You may have to open walls because he may want to check electrical.