If 2 years ago I bought my home but I now have found out that I have 4 open permits, how can this even happen?

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If 2 years ago I bought my home but I now have found out that I have 4 open permits, how can this even happen?

I financed the home, so the title company should have found them? I don’t know what I should do.

Asked on June 21, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Actually, permits are not part of title, and so would not show during a title search: the title company therefore did nothing wrong.
However, the seller very likely was in the wrong--that is, committed fraud. Fraud is a knowing misrepresentation, which can be by omission as well as by an affirmative mistatement. Sellers are obligated to divulge any open permits or other issues that affect getting a Certificate of Occupancy, code compliance, etc.; a failure to disclose known open permits, or open permits which the seller should have reasonably known about (i.e. any reasonable seller in his/her position would known about the permits) can therefore be fraud, and fraud can provide a basis to sue for compensation, such as the cost of any repairs, remediation, renovation, etc. required to complete and close out the permits. If the cost to resolve this is high enough to justify the time, effort, etc. of a lawsuit, you may therefore wish to sue.


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