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We were married 3 years ago and we purchased a home the following year. We had a contractor pull permits with the village to do some remodeling on the first floor. At the same time we had a contractor install 2 complete bathrooms and finish out the basement, without pulling permits, against my opinoin. All work was completed satisfactorily. My husband and I were were divorced 5 months ago. My wife got the house and most of my money. I want to get back at her. I called the village building permits department multiple times and asked if I reported anonymously that work was performed on the house without permits and not up to code, could they come after me for costs to bring it up to code? I explained that the house and was quit claimed over tomy ex-wife thus removing me from the title so she owns the house 100%. The village said to me every time I called that
they only care about the current owner, not who the owners were when the illegal work was done. Is that true? If I report her, can they come after me too to bring the work up to code with permits even though I do not have any ownership in the house? If I report her to the village and they go after her to bring the work up to code with permits, can she come after me for half the cost? Is there anything that I am missing and/or need to know?
Asked on September 28, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Illinois
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 2 years ago | Contributor
The government cannot go after you, if you are no longer an owner; but your ex can. At the time, whatever your "opinion" was, you joined with your ex in hiring someone to do unpermitted work and received the benefit of the unpermitted additions and renovations; she you agreed to hire the contractor and do the work (even if you had reservations about it), you are responsible for the consequences and she could sue you for your share of any costs, fines, etc. incurred due to work you participated in doing.