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Contractor wants to cancel permit before work is done

jar546

Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
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Oct 16, 2009
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Palm Beach County Florida
How does your jurisdiction handle situations like this.

Work started, some inspections completed, job not completed. Homeowner decides they want to abandon the project even though it is not done. Contractor wants to close out their permit.
 

classicT

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Aug 2, 2017
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Washington State
I would say that they still need a passing final inspection.

If they need to revise the plans to reduce the scope of the project, so be it; but without a passing final inspection, the project/permit cannot be closed out.
 

mtlogcabin

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Big Sky Country
And after 180 days what will you do? You only have one option under the code and that is expire it especially since it is the owner who is stopping the work.
Financial reasons, health issues, divorce are just a few legitimate reasons that a project may not be completed. One size answer does not fit all situations

[A] 105.5 Expiration.
Every permit issued shall become invalid unless the work on the site authorized by such permit is commenced within 180 days after its issuance, or if the work authorized on the site by such permit is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days after the time the work is commenced. The building official is authorized to grant, in writing, one or more extensions of time, for periods not more than 180 days each. The extension shall be requested in writing and justifiable cause demonstrated.
 

classicT

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And after 180 days what will you do? You only have one option under the code and that is expire it especially since it is the owner who is stopping the work.
Financial reasons, health issues, divorce are just a few legitimate reasons that a project may not be completed. One size answer does not fit all situations

[A] 105.5 Expiration.
Every permit issued shall become invalid unless the work on the site authorized by such permit is commenced within 180 days after its issuance, or if the work authorized on the site by such permit is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days after the time the work is commenced. The building official is authorized to grant, in writing, one or more extensions of time, for periods not more than 180 days each. The extension shall be requested in writing and justifiable cause demonstrated.
I agree, typically most AHJ have no recourse once a permit expires.

That said, and I cant seem to find the right post, but I believe Jar had previously indicated that they have a way of regulating how many unfinished (expired) permits are allowed by either a contractor or within a building.
We have a state statute that requires the BCO to determine how many expired permits a contractor is allowed before you can deny a new permit.
 

mtlogcabin

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Homeowner decides they want to abandon the project even though it is not done
You can't go after a contractor when the owner is cancelling the project. Each and every case will be different. Ultimately the BD needs to work with the owner to make sure there are no unfinished portion that is contrary to the intent of the code
The bolded items is what I would be concerned with

[A] 101.3 Intent.
The purpose of this code is to establish the minimum requirements to provide a reasonable level of safety, public health and general welfare through structural strength, means of egress facilities, stability, sanitation, adequate light and ventilation, energy conservation, and safety to life and property from fire, explosion and other hazards, and to provide a reasonable level of safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations.
 

Joe.B

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Dec 4, 2020
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176
Location
Arcata Ca
You can't go after a contractor when the owner is cancelling the project. Each and every case will be different. Ultimately the BD needs to work with the owner to make sure there are no unfinished portion that is contrary to the intent of the code
The bolded items is what I would be concerned with

[A] 101.3 Intent.
The purpose of this code is to establish the minimum requirements to provide a reasonable level of safety, public health and general welfare through structural strength, means of egress facilities, stability, sanitation, adequate light and ventilation, energy conservation, and safety to life and property from fire, explosion and other hazards, and to provide a reasonable level of safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations.
Exactly, expire the permit to release the contractor. Open a code enforcement case to make sure the building is safe ate the property owners liability.
 

Rick18071

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Nov 28, 2009
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Poconos/eastern PA
This makes me wonder what became of my permit for an addition a got over 10 years ago. Got all inspections up to drywall then I got hurt and could not work for 2 years. Never heard from the township about it. I can't do a lot of physical work now so it's a good thing I became an inspector. Only thing left for a final inspection is to finish the interior trim, install a ceiling fan and finish the guest shower. I heard that after a C. O. is issued the tax man comes out to reevaluate the real estate taxes. This doesn't not give me much incentive to get done.
 

jar546

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Palm Beach County Florida
An expired permit is not a closed permit and they can not go to closing if they sell the house with any permits that are not closed. Letting it expire is not the answer.
 

Darren Emery

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Manhattan, Ks
An expired permit is not a closed permit and they can not go to closing if they sell the house with any permits that are not closed. Letting it expire is not the answer.
Depends upon the jurisdiction, the closing agent, the type of loan, etc. We have properties changing hands all the time around here with no CO, open permits, open violations, etc.
 

TheCommish

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Charlton Ma
Everything in writing, the owner say the project is stopping, the contractor say he/she is done, an inspection to be sure the site is in a safe condition, or if not completed to a safe condition
 

Joe.B

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Arcata Ca
An expired permit is not a closed permit and they can not go to closing if they sell the house with any permits that are not closed. Letting it expire is not the answer.
Maybe we are just talking a difference in terminology here, and maybe you have some state regulations that we don't have. From my perspective if the contractor pulled the permit (not owner-builder) then tells you they are walking away from the job, the only thing you can do is "expire" the permit. Then IMHO the only responsible thing to do is to open a code enforcement case to make sure there are no life-safety issues.
 

jar546

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Palm Beach County Florida
Maybe we are just talking a difference in terminology here, and maybe you have some state regulations that we don't have. From my perspective if the contractor pulled the permit (not owner-builder) then tells you they are walking away from the job, the only thing you can do is "expire" the permit. Then IMHO the only responsible thing to do is to open a code enforcement case to make sure there are no life-safety issues.
See post #17 please.
 

fatboy

Administrator
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Oct 17, 2009
Messages
6,223
Location
Northern CO
My solution would be a combination of solutions already mentioned.

Request a letter from the HO stating they are requesting closing, and why.

Building Department documents thoroughly through narrative and digital images and video, and attach to permit.

Document that when permit is reopened/reapplied for (by anyone), work must comply with code in effect when resumed.

About all you can do, otherwise they walk away, and you still have an unfinished permit. At least they are giving you a heads up.

JMHO, that's how I would handle it, obviously not a one size fits all.
 
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