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Old 07-30-2009, 09:32 PM   #1
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Permit Disclaimer in Contract


Hi all...
Can a contractor (in Mass.) put a disclaimer in his/her contract stating that the customer did not want to pull permits and does not hold the contractor or subs liable? How would the building inspector view this?

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Old 07-30-2009, 10:39 PM   #2
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Permit Disclaimer in Contract


Anything can be put into a contract as long as the parties agree to it.

When YOU go to apply for a permit, you are assuming all responsibility for the project meeting the code. The building inspect usually cannot see the contract and only looks at the plans to see if they are completed properly accordingly to the submitted plans and that the details are followed and can be documented.

What kind of a contract to do have? Is it a fixed price for the signed plans or is there a provision that you are responsible for the extra costs?

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Old 07-30-2009, 10:49 PM   #3
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Permit Disclaimer in Contract


I'd say that the customer doesn't want the work inspected
Not sure who gets in trouble for that
I know they can double the fees & charge a penalty

If the customer refuses to pull permits then the contractor is covering his butt by putting that in the contract - and with good reason
Inspector can make finish work & walls be pulled apart for inspection if he so wishes

Neighbor decided to rebuild his front porch without a permit
Not a smart thing to do with all the work I am doing
The Inspector had a chat with him
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:43 AM   #4
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Permit Disclaimer in Contract


Quote:
Originally Posted by ra5451 View Post
Hi all...
Can a contractor (in Mass.) put a disclaimer in his/her contract stating that the customer did not want to pull permits and does not hold the contractor or subs liable? How would the building inspector view this?
The building inspector would not look kindly to unpermitted work. The homeowner would get, "enhanced" fees upon discovery and the contractor could possibly lose his liscense for doing the work. His writing it in the contract that the homeowner didn't want to pull the permit would not keep him from being admonished and punished by the local governing body. I doubt it would stave off any legal action if something happened in the future concerning his work.
This is just his uneducated way of theoretically dodging responsibility.
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:30 AM   #5
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Permit Disclaimer in Contract


Having the homeowner sign a waiver does nothing to get you out of Dutch with the state of Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, permit procedures and regulations are spelled out in the Building Code (780 CMR).

"A person who shall violate a provision of the Building Code (780 CMR) shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, for each violation. Each day during which any portion of a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense."

You guys are fortunate. In New Jersey, they upped the fine to $2000.

So, again, having a waiver does nothing but confirm that you and the homeowner conspired to do the work without a permit.
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:10 PM   #6
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Permit Disclaimer in Contract


Thankx for the feedback
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:37 AM   #7
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Permit Disclaimer in Contract


Most of the non-permit jobs I see around me don't involve contracts. They're cash deals (no taxes) and the contract is a handshake. In NJ, for most (but not all work), the HO can pull a permit, but otherwise, it has to be done by a licensed contractor, who puts a lot on the line by admitting on a legal contract that they will work without a permit.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:01 AM   #8
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Permit Disclaimer in Contract


With no permit there would be no inspection. Isn't one of the main reasons for a permit to alert the inspection department that work is being done?

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