How to correct illegal conversion issues

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2023 | Construction, Real Estate Disputes, Real Estate Disputes, Residential Real Estate

Home renovations can be exciting, potentially increasing the property’s value and utilizing additional space. These changes might be attractive, but they can also be unlawful if the alterations are against the city’s construction codes. Whether intentional or not, owners who illegally alter their properties can face grave repercussions, especially if tenants occupy their converted units.

Adding walls, remodeling rooms, and adding bedrooms or single-room occupancies can endanger others during emergencies, such as fires or incidents requiring immediate evacuation. Unapproved plumbing work could also cause dangerous gas leaks. These violations might warrant inspections to determine what penalties are appropriate. These sanctions may include multiple fines amounting to as much as $25,000 for each offense.

Fortunately, there are ways for property owners to correct illegal property alterations and conversions, including the following steps:

  • Seek legal advice on whether the construction is illegal. If so, determine options for legalization or removal. Ensure to move out tenants if reconstruction is necessary.
  • If taking measures to reconstruct or legalize the structure, hire a registered professional to file plans for the city’s approval while getting the necessary permits. Filing these documents might have accompanying fees.
  • Once the paperwork is complete, hire licensed contractors to complete any required construction based on the approved specifications.
  • Get the city to sign off on the finished work and legalize it by obtaining a certificate of occupancy.
  • After correcting the violations, submit the necessary certificates and documentation.

These are the primary steps to expedite corrections, but the process can vary based on the circumstances and the violations committed.

Addressing property disputes and issues

There are times when property owners unintentionally violate construction codes or cause disputes, putting them in a tough spot. They should immediately seek legal advice to help address these concerns. Failing to do so can impact them, their tenants and their neighbors.