If my parents are trying to sell their house but the inspectors are now telling them they have 1 month to fix the roof, some drainage problems and tear down a porch but they don’t have the money, is there anything they can do?

My mother is in poor health. Some people with an FHA loan put in an offer but it fell through.

Asked on September 18, 2015 under Real Estate Law, North Dakota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, there unfortunately isn't anything they can do but make the fixes if the home is not compliant with code, they must bring it into compliance or else the would not be granted or could lose a certificate of occupancy. They may have to try to borrow the money from family or take out HELOC to pay for the work, but the muncipal or county inspectors have the right to insist on the repairs and to set a timeline for them. Trying to fight this legally--their only option other than making the repairs--would likely lose and could easily cost them if they hired an attorney, which as practical matter they'd have to do to have any chance of success almost as much as making the fixes.

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