If there’s one thing that you know as a New York City resident, it’s that real estate is quite costly here. One of the worst things that can happen to you as a new homeowner is for you to try and renovate your home only to find out that unauthorized work has been previously performed on it. Situations like this happen quite frequently here in Manhattan. If this has happened to you, then you may wonder who you can hold financially liable for remedying any non-permitted renovations.
One of the drawbacks of buying New York real estate is that sellers don’t have to disclose any adverse information about their home. While state law prohibits individuals from purposefully hiding any defects, it’s a buyer’s obligation to notice any blatant defects as part of the due diligence process.
If you’re suspicious that non-permitted renovations have been performed on your property, then you’ll want to dig out your purchase contract and review it. If your seller states in it that all renovations have performed lawfully when they really haven’t been, then you may be able to file a lawsuit to hold the seller accountable for their misrepresentation.
You may be at a loss and unable to sue a seller if your agreement with them fails to mention any renovations. This is far from the end of the road for you though.
One of your closing attorney’s responsibilities is to review city Department of Builds records and board minutes to see check for open and closed permits. You as the new homeowner may have very few legal options for holding someone else financially liable for repairs if the previous owner never informed building management or anyone else of the renovations.
Making the necessary repairs to bring your home in compliance with city codes after non-permitted renovations are discovered isn’t always costly. It can be though. A real estate dispute attorney can help you find a strategic resolution through either negotiation or litigation in your case.