I have recently discovered that the property I purchased 2 years ago had a plaque from code enforcement. Seller sold me the propetry 3 weeks after they applied the plaque (seller did not tell me, but I did buy it for only 2k, so I can't blame the seller too much).
I did some cleaning and rehabs after I purchased. At that time my contractor (who I later found out in another project that is dishonest) told me he pulled permits. I found out that it is impossible (he lied) as no permits can be pulled up until code enforcement gives permission to start works.
Meanwhile I had tenants that moved in and out (they left after a year lease). In between tenant I had to pull a small electrical permit to accommodate section 8 inspector and found out that house was inhabitable per code enforcement!
Now I have a new tenant ready to move in through the homeless veteran program with section 8, but I am not really sure what to do. Code enforcement looked for me at the violation code and it was simply that it was vacant, unprotected (entrance door kicked in ) and broken windows. I fixed all that 1.5 years ago when I purchased the property. They gave me a letter stating I can pull permits and do works. So now I can resolve my issue of getting electrical upgraded. However per code enforcement this property still has this plaque. these are 3 options I have:
1. I ask code enforcement for a formal inspection immediately. I would like to do that so that I am in the clear, I know my property looks nice, but I am concerned as I hear that when you get things inspected code enforcement starts looking everywhere at everything and they might find out about works where this contractor did renovation without permit (he even charged me the permit fees though!)
2. Let this poor veterans move in (he is in a shelter now). After he moves in, I call code enforcement for an inspection (next week)? in this way this guy has a roof, I get paid by section 8 while all this goes on (Especially in case they start asking me to do extra works and this lasts several weeks). Also, maybe if they see there is a tenant in, they see how they can disregard that there is a vacant unsecured property.
3. I let the tenant move in and do not call for an inspection. The lady at code enforcement told me that the violation is minor and saw the pictures I brought her of the house. She told me that typically people worry about this if they need to sell the place, but that in her opinion once she handed me the letter stating I can pull permits , enter the house and do any repair needed, it is not a big deal. In this way I avoid risk of a picky inspector. In case it comes up I can show at anytime that the works specific of the violation have been taken care of... but I do not know if it is really the right thing to do.
Does anyone have experience with the Atlanta code enforcement near the belt line (Washington Park) where they put all those yellow plaques? (seller obviously removed the physical plaque before selling). Lastly code enforcement lady told me that they are going to work with me if I work with them as they see that the violation was before my purchase date. However I heard horror stories with City Of Atlanta, so I am really not sure how to move. Please share thoughts and experiences. I want to do the right thing, but I would like to avoid opening a huge can of warms with bureaucratic (and I hear corrupt) code inspectors
anyone out there?
@Paolo R. If section 8 has approved of it on their inspection you should be ok to let him move in. State inspection supersedes county and federal supersedes state. I have come across this recently on a job at the state college. I asked the city to come give me an inspection and they said no way. They have absolutely no jurisdiction on state grounds. The college has its own inspector in house. Now what you have is not even near what I had but at least you have grounds for going ahead if the city tries to do anything.
A few questions though. Did they give you the electrical permit or turn you down? Is what you need is a COO? If so maybe you can use section 8 as a jump off point to convince them. They (section 8) are usually more stringent on their certificates of occupancy so the city may recognize it and not even go out there.
Every inspector is different but my experience is that its better to ask for advice with these guys than to ask for forgiveness. They love to share their knowledge and hate it when they feel like someone is trying to pull one over. You obviously arent trying to pull one over but if they feel like you are you will end up with lots of grief. Best of luck and keep us posted.
The code enforcement office is basically telling you to leave it alone. Their concern is whether your property is a nuisance. It once was, but no longer is. It's highly unlikely you will hear from them again as long as you maintain the property.
Google "accela Atlanta" to find the City's public access site for code violations and building permits. There you can verify all building permits pulled for your address and all code violations reported at your address. The right hand (code enforcement, part of the Police Dept) doesn't always talk to the left hand (building dept) so I don't think it's necessarily certain that your contractor was lying about pulling a permit. You can find out on the accela site.
Free eBook from BiggerPockets!
Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!
- Actionable advice for getting started,
- Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
- Learn how to get started with or without money,
- Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
- And a LOT more.
Sign up below to download the eBook for FREE today!
We hate spam just as much as you