Can a seller be held liable for the cost of not finishing work started on building permit?

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Can a seller be held liable for the cost of not finishing work started on building permit?

A building permit expired on a house and property that I just bought. However I didn’t know there was work that hadn’t been completed/inspected fully. There was nothing in the property condition disclosure about any problems. Now, as the new owner, the municipality is coming after me to get the work needed completed and inspected. Can I go after the seller and/or real estate agent for the cost of the work, or am I stuck with the bill?

Asked on April 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to seek legal help with this matter as soon as you can.  Did anyone at all do a title search prior to purchase?  That should have revealed the outstanding permits.  Dd anyone certify that the house had a certificate of occupancy?  Did you have an attorney for this?  Was there a title company involved?  The answer to these questions will guide you on what to do.  So gather your information as to the contract and the closing papers and bring them to an attorney familiar with real estate law to review. You should definitely have recourse in this matter.  You just have to pin point who to aim at. Good luck to you.


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