Home remodel sidetracked by building-permit discovery

Did sellers, agents lie about previous additions?
Published on Jun 20, 2006

Dear Barry, When I purchased my home, I hired a home inspector, and only minor problems were found. But now I'm remodeling the interior, and the building department informs me that the addition and the attic conversion were not permitted. Before buying the home, I asked the previous owners and both agents about the legality of the addition and conversion, and everyone said that all of the building changes were permitted. Aren't these people liable for false disclosure? --Nick Dear Nick, For the sake of discussion, let's give the sellers and agents the benefit of the doubt and assume that they had no knowledge of the lack of building permits. A common situation, for example, would be that building alterations were the doings of a previous property owner and that no one was aware of the absence of permits. The current sellers and agents, then, would be guilty, at worst, of making false assumptions. If that were the case, their answer to your question regarding permits should have been, "...