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Old 06-23-2011, 01:48 AM   #1
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Existing electrical


i recently had a swimming pool installed and a electrician do the electrical work but while the electrical inspector came to do his inspection he started looking around my basment and complaing about he had not approved any of this and he had to make sure permits were pulled while in the mean time it was all existing as this was a forclosure that was vacant for three years that i bought a year ago and was inspected by the bank. does he have the right to have me change anything that is existing just becuase there was no permit?

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Old 06-23-2011, 03:45 AM   #2
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Generally not. Usually the scope of the inspection is limited to the work covered by the current permit. However, to the extent that prior unpermitted work may have been done recently (within whatever the statute of limitations is, probably 1 year to 5 years), he may be able to pursue legal action against whoever did that work for failing to obtain a permit. Since you are a new owner and not the individual who did the prior unpermitted work, he probably has no recourse against you for that. You may need to be firm and insist that he limit his scope to the current permit. I'd stand my ground on this one.

With that said, it's possible that he's identifying legitmate safety concerns that you really must correct to make the building safely habitable. The bank's inspection was probably worthless. What are the specific problems that the inspector is concerned about?

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Old 06-23-2011, 04:57 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mpoulton View Post
Since you are a new owner and not the individual who did the prior unpermitted work, he probably has no recourse against you for that. You may need to be firm and insist that he limit his scope to the current permit. I'd stand my ground on this one.

With that said, it's possible that he's identifying legitmate safety concerns that you really must correct to make the building safely habitable. The bank's inspection was probably worthless. What are the specific problems that the inspector is concerned about?
Don't panic and work with the guy to the extent you can. You definitely do not want to get on his bad side. I think you can firmly state your situation and role in the wiring and come up with some means of compromising.

Inspectors can be a crusty lot and some have real Napolean or "big hat no cattle" tudes. Most are just trying to do a difficult at times job. In this foreclosure and home abandonment climate I can only imagine the Mickey Mouse sorts of stuff they see on a daily basis. Perhaps the inspector saw things at your place that you would want to address so hear him out.

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Old 06-23-2011, 03:59 PM   #4
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What are the penalties you could face if you do work without a permit
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:20 PM   #5
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Generally not, but if it is where he can see it, he has the right to question, and to also find out if the previous owners pulled permits. I would work with the local AHJ, and as a new homeowner, see if they can be cooperative to help you understand your rights as a home owner to be able to have your electrician go over everything. I would have the electrician that did the pool work, go through and check everything out, but first put on paper the estimate it would be to do a inspection, before performing any work, and look over the home inspector report to hit those areas first.

Bad thing about moving into a foreclosure, is most are HUD, and very little effort is put into making it safe for the person wishing to own, due to the bank wants to get rid of the property, without putting any money into it. Same with most sellers out there that are wanting to sell homes, but have not maintained it one bit, since the day it was built.
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