Buying a rental? Check permits first

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Q: I am a new rental property owner and was recently cited for a code violation. Apparently, a previous owner did some work on the property following a fire, for which he obtained the correct permits. But he never scheduled the final inspection. Like us, the seller from whom we bought the property had no knowledge of the problem. Are we responsible for the fine and for doing any work required to pass inspection? --Nel N. A: I'm afraid you'll have to comply with the city's demand that you schedule an inspection and do whatever is needed to satisfy their standards. The city is not going to give your property a pass just because you didn't know that a prior owner hadn't followed the right procedures. From the city's perspective, the permitting process insures structurally safe buildings, and when they discover that a building hasn't been properly built or inspected, they're concerned with getting the problem fixed, not with who was originally responsible for creating it. You ...