City reneges on promise to allow homeowner’s garage

Can officials come back 12 years later and demand its demolition?

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

DEAR BENNY: In 1995, I bought my house, which had many problems between the former owner and the city. He built the garage for the house without any permit or city codes. The former owner lost the house and before I bought the house I had a meeting with the city staff and I agreed to buy and rebuild it according to the city codes. When I bought the house, the city told me in the meeting they will let me keep the garage as is without a permit. But just last month the city staff came in and asked me to demolish the garage because it does not have a permit and it's not built according to the city code. I think they are new staff and are trying to make money for the city; I want to know if they can do that after 12 years, and if I have any rights to fight it. I'm a single woman and I just had a fire in my home, and I'm having a hard time fixing the house after the fire. --Linda. DEAR LINDA: If it is any consolation, you are unfortunately not alone. Many people have received...