When buying a new home, it is important that your home is thoroughly inspected. Unfortunately, some issues can be missed by an inspector, such as an illegal addition. If you recently purchased a home with an illegal addition, there is a legal remedy to your situation. Before contacting the seller, here is what you need to know.
Can You Leave an Illegal Addition?
Some new homeowners might be hesitant to take action on an illegal addition if it has not been discovered by the local city code enforcers. However, it is your legal responsibility to take action once you discover that there is an illegal addition or you could face consequences.
Illegal additions can also result in a host of other issues, such as an unsafe construction. Although it might appear to be of good quality, you have no guarantee that it is because permits were not obtained for the addition. As a result, problems, such as a wiring issues, could exist.
You might also have problems with your insurance provider. If you need to file a claim in the future for damage that resulted from the illegal addition, the insurance could deny your claim. For instance, if the illegal wiring caused a fire, the insurance provider could refuse to pay for the damages.
Even if the addition is safe, you could face difficulties in selling the home in the future. You would have to disclose the illegal addition to potential buyers or risk facing legal consequences yourself.
What Can You Do?
The illegal addition should have been disclosed in the sell of your home. It is because of this, you can possibly hold the seller responsible for your damages. Illegal additions have to be either torn down or you have to secure the right permits. Regardless of which option you choose, both can be costly.
Your real estate attorney can attempt to negotiate with the previous owner to receive compensation or for him or her to secure the permits needed for the addition. If he or she is unwilling to take financial responsibility, you can file a lawsuit. How successful you are in the lawsuit depends largely on your state's laws.
To fully understand your legal options for handling an illegal addition, work with an experienced real estate attorney. He or she can review your agreements with the previous owner and the state's laws and help you determine whether or not any further legal options are open to you.