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-   -   In the wrong ? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f2/wrong-3072/)

CChog 07-14-2006 10:13 AM

In the wrong ?
 
Hello all ! I'm looking for some honest opinion.. We've had work done before but thru a major company that handled everything, permits etc.. We decided to have work done by a contractor where both of us agreed to just do the job without pulling a permit. Long story short we got busted and had to stop work. We rec'd a permit but the inspector instituted a fine. I had NO CLUE a fine could occur. If I did I would have got off my lazy rear and pulled a permit. What I was having done was not worth risking a fine for. My question is is fining a contractor a common occurance ? Should the contractor have known this is could happen if stopped by the inspector ? I feel compelled to pay 1/2 the fine but am not happy that this possibility was never discussed between us. Thanks all.

cchog

KUIPORNG 07-14-2006 12:25 PM

Sorry to hear that, I don't think you can ask the contractor for the fine though, because it is really the home owner who is responsible for the permit, unless you have writing from the contractor he will apply the permit for you or he told you permit is not required in writing... then you can sue him/her at small claim court, even that you have to pay for the fine first then get him to small claim court for the damage... but if you do not have anything in writing, you have almost no chance on winning ...

Do you mind sharing with us how much the fine is, for us home owner to watch out in the future what magnitude of consequence when building without a permit... is the fine related to the value of the project or is it a fix fine...

CChog 07-14-2006 01:14 PM

Kui****g,

thanks for the reply. The fine is $1500. From day 1 though the inspector said he was going to fine the contractor, that he should have known better about working without a permit. In our subsequent conversations he said he was fining the contractor and sure enough he did. I picked up the permit but didnt pay the fine. It was just easier for us to not get a permit (now i know better and it wasnt that painful) and not once did we discuss being fined as a penalty - or else I wouldnt have even attempted. Nothing was being done on the sly, the truck was out in plain day. I just cant believe a contractor would even risk working knowing that a fine was a possibility

AtlanticWBConst. 07-14-2006 01:16 PM

As a licensed and registered General Contractor.....

I agree with KUI****G, and town building inspectors in my region agree as well-

However, I believe that the Contractor has a serious responsibility to inform the Home/Property owner of the laws and the consequences (Since the contractor is supposed to know more about these matters than the homeowner - we have the code books, updates, etc.)
In your case, he agreed to not pull a permit, and that was it. We always insist on pulling the necessary permits, unless the property owner insists that they don't want one. In that case, we may walk away....

Under the circumstances mentioned, I can see where he bore some weight of the 'wrong' - since he didn't inform you of the repercussions, etc.

Only once did we have a job where the Homeowner got hit with a fine. We were repairing a deck and ended up extending it a small amount. An angry neighbor called it into the town.
Since it was already completed, the Building inspector directed that a permit application be applied & paid for and instead of the $50 fee for it. There amount was tripled to $150.00.
We paid for it, because the HO was unaware of the laws, and it was our responsibilty to have it taken care of. In our area: any structural deck work requires a permit.
BTW - The building inspector was great to deal with, he just gave a slap on the wrist and said don't worry about it - neighbor problems. He retired a few years after that - nice guy.

CChog 07-14-2006 02:16 PM

Atlantic,
thanks for the info... I'm not guilt free that is for sure. I know he thinks working with a permit is a pain in the *. and would rather not. Something to do with their schedules and his etc etc. And if I wanted something against code, well that benefitted me. But if he was working under the assumption that I would be bearing all penalties then I'm :furious: . Especially since the only I thing I thought I had to worry about was the ceasation of work with the possible removal of completed work (which I didnt think would occur). Ignorance has it's price that's for sure.

KUIPORNG 07-14-2006 02:46 PM

In theory, there are really two penalties:

- one is penalty for home owner allow somthing done on their home without permit

- one is penalty for licensed contractor working on a project knowing that it does not have a permit.

If you thihk about it, if authority does not give a break, they can fine both parties for the two different reasons... I am glad to hear that the authority give you a break, the authority can fine the contractor using different way, suspend their license or a different fine amount...

anyhow, I am talking from my own opinion though...

DaveH 07-15-2006 07:12 AM

A contractor willing to start the job without a permit is very liable to do other corner cutting manuevers. Watch out there very well could be other problems coming with this contractor...

joasis 07-15-2006 01:22 PM

Bottom line comes back to the contractor KNEW he needed a permit, and was willing to let you decide he didn't need one. If I let a HO talk me into this (which would never happen) I would expect the person who decided to hold the responsibility of paying the consequenses (fine). Like Dave said, what other corners was this guy willing to cut?

slickshift 07-15-2006 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CChog
My question is is fining a contractor a common occurance ?

For not pulling a permit?
Yes
Some areas are stricter than others though
Quote:

Originally Posted by CChog
Should the contractor have known this is could happen if stopped by the inspector ?

Yes, he did know
He may be surprised to be fined if they are usually lenient in your area, but he knew it was a possibility
There's very few ways to become a contractor where that point is not hammered home
Quote:

Originally Posted by CChog
I feel compelled to pay 1/2 the fine but am not happy that this possibility was never discussed between us. Thanks all.

Very noble of you
It wasn't worked out who would would pay if caught, he knew the risks
I think he bears the burden
He should consider that a tuition payment
But why did the two of you decide not to pull a permit?
That may have some bearing
Like the others, I'm wondering if he was willing to do that, I'd wonder if he has liability ins. or lic. etc...


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