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Change of ownership mid permitted construction

jar546

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Oct 16, 2009
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Palm Beach County Florida
How do you handle a situation similar to this?

Owner is under contract with contractor
Owner sells property before job is complete
New owner wants to use same contractor to finish the job

Do you have a change of ownership form?
Do you require a new contract with the new owner? We would along with a new NOC filed with the County.
Would you issue a new permit and close the old one?
 

Mark K

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May 12, 2010
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Keep the permit active and note the change of ownership. You are regulating the building not the owner.

Assume a building was being built but rather than the owner being an individual the building is owned by a corporation which was then owned by an individual. The owner of the corporation sells the corporation to another individual. The owner of the property has not changed even though a different individual owns the corporation.
 

e hilton

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The contractor will definitely need a new contract with the new owner, and there is going to be some complicated paperwork to define the split in obligations.
 

Keystone

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Feb 23, 2010
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Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Maintain old file, close out. Have new file and info completed, access fee as appropriate and move forward. If your not comfortable with that have the new owner and contractor generate and notarize and agreement accepting approved plans and conditions as is without conditions.
 

Mark K

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The Owners contract with the contractor is none of the business of the building department.

What authority does the building department have to require the owner and the contractor "..generate and notarize and agreement accepting approved plans and conditions as is without conditions." If you find that the work is not being done in accordance with the approved construction drawings you can shut the job down. Before you try that, have a meeting with the Owner, the Owners attorney and the City attorney. Be prepared to have them educate you on what you can not do.

If you close out the file does this mean that you will issue a new permit and require compliance with all new laws passed since the original application was submitted?
 

jj1289

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Oct 22, 2009
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Connecticut
We would require the new owner fill out a new application for the project since the permit belongs to the owner and if no change in scope of work no fee is charged
 

tmurray

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The way we handle this is that the "who did what" is irrelevant to me. The current owner owns all the problems. It does not matter who owned the property when the violation was created, it is the responsibility of the current owner to have it corrected.

The only issue we see is that we take a refundable deposit for major construction. This typically goes back to the person who initially paid the deposit (unless it is acted on). We just need clarification of who this deposit needs to go to at the end of the project.

My municipality owns the permit, not the property owner or the contractor. We are not "selling" permits, we are issuing them. We have re-issued them with new owners information though.
 

rogerpa

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Nov 5, 2009
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The Owners contract with the contractor is none of the business of the building department.

What authority does the building department have to require the owner and the contractor "..generate and notarize and agreement accepting approved plans and conditions as is without conditions." If you find that the work is not being done in accordance with the approved construction drawings you can shut the job down.
The C of O is attached to the BUILDING, not the owner. As long as there is no change in occupancy use or the approved construction documents never mind. The contract between the old and new owner is outside the purview of the AHJ.
 

Keystone

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Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
The Owners contract with the contractor is none of the business of the building department.

What authority does the building department have to require the owner and the contractor "..generate and notarize and agreement accepting approved plans and conditions as is without conditions." If you find that the work is not being done in accordance with the approved construction drawings you can shut the job down. Before you try that, have a meeting with the Owner, the Owners attorney and the City attorney. Be prepared to have them educate you on what you can not do.

If you close out the file does this mean that you will issue a new permit and require compliance with all new laws passed since the original application was submitted?
The agreement is not bldg department business between owner and contractor however accepting the inspections to date pass or fail and plans as prepared and approved is. Just because a person signs a new permit application does not mean they’d understand and accept what may be within those muni files. I’d feel a notarized agreement is more friendly then requiring the new owner submit the same plans for review and approval. Also note I did write, “I for you’re not comfortable mech with that”. This isn’t one of many options not the only one on the table.
 
Last edited:

VillageInspector

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Feb 9, 2010
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Dutchess County, New York, United States
The only thing I would do is note the change of ownership in the files. As long as the same contractor remains on the job building to same set of plans its irrelevant who owns the building. The main thing is issuing the CO to the correct party hence the note of ownership change in the files.
 

Ty J.

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Washington State
Typically, we are are getting a new application so that we can update the permit in our system, and a letter of release from the prior owner.
 

e hilton

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Virginia
The only issue we see is that we take a refundable deposit for major construction. This typically goes back to the person who initially paid the deposit
When a property is sold, there will be a list of deposits such as utility construction bonds, utility account application fees etc, with an agreement as to what happens when it is refunded.
 

mtlogcabin

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Here we would just change the owner info on the permit. In Fl you should probably require a new Notice of Commencement filled out and posted so the new owner gets properly notified of any possible liens
 

tmurray

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When a property is sold, there will be a list of deposits such as utility construction bonds, utility account application fees etc, with an agreement as to what happens when it is refunded.
Well, aren't you lucky. That is certainly not my experience. We usually get to the end of the project and neither the current owner, nor the former really know who it goes back to.
 

e hilton

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Well, aren't you lucky. That is certainly not my experience. We usually get to the end of the project and neither the current owner, nor the former really know who it goes back to.
Then shame on the lawyers or title company people handling the sale. They are supposed to be looking for outstanding liens, encumbrances, and title flaws before the papers are presented at closing. If there is no agreement, inwould say it goes backbto the company that made the payment. The new owner can’t prove it’s theirs.
 

mtlogcabin

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All fee's are ultimately paid by the owner no matter who wrote the check. It is not the jurisdictions responsibility or obligation to refund those fees because of an ownership change in the middle of the construction. Those items are between the buyer and seller not the jurisdiction.
 

jar546

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Palm Beach County Florida
One of the potential problems is that in many counties, you can't close on a house when there is an open permit which may change the way you handle the situation.
 
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