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I've been notified of a violation - but can't find out what the violation is!


MickinMD
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Have you read the book, The Trial by Franz Kafka?

It's about a guy in a foreign country who faces charges for which he's told to show up in court on a certain date but, as the days go by, he can't find out what he's being charged with!

I got a letter from County Inspections and Permits, listing a building permit number and telling me I'm in violation and need to fix it and arrange for an inspector to come out and approve the work by April 20th.

Nowhere in the letter does it say what the violation is!  I never personally had a building permit. x It says to call an inspector named John, if I have questions.  I did that Tuesday morning and had to leave a message.  John got back to me 7:30 am this morning (Thursday).

John could NOT find out, through his computer's files, any violation I have!  He remembers my property: he was one of the inspectors approving the work as the house was rebuilt last year.

He said it was likely to be something that the contractor completed but he and an inspector didn't sign-off on.  I hope that's all it is, though waiting 9 months after the last work was done is just wrong.

I am waiting for warmer, dryer weather to finish some new cement around my sidewalk, broken when the new water line was installed.    John looked that up and said that work was ok'd as completed by an inspector so that's not it.

He asked me to email him a copy of the letter I got from his department and I took a picture of it, made sure it was legible and emailed it to him.

At some point - maybe before April 20th, I'll find out what's wrong.  It's almost surely something the contractor and an inspector need to handle - I don't know why I am being involved: the contractor had the building permit, not me.

I understand your book now, Franz Kafka!

 

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In a discussion with an inspector several years ago regarding an occupancy permit for a house I built for our family, he said, "I wouldn't be too concerned.  There isn't a judge in the state that will throw you out of your own home."

I had a furnace and AC unit installed last July.  I got a letter earlier this month that said I was in violation because I didn't have the units inspected and the permit would be void in 10 days if I didn't settle the matter.  Like Mick, the contractor pulled the permit.  I called the heating company and told them I wasn't happy and then called the inspection office.  The very nice lady scheduled a visit by the inspector at a time of my convenience and he showed up exactly on time.  He went in the basement and said "Yup, that's a furnace." and put an Approved sticker on it.  He went outside and looked at the AC unit and said, "Yup, that's a condenser unit." and slapped an Approved sticker on it.  Then he shook my hand, said goodbye and left.

 

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1 hour ago, Kzoo said:

In a discussion with an inspector several years ago regarding an occupancy permit for a house I built for our family, he said, "I wouldn't be too concerned.  There isn't a judge in the state that will throw you out of your own home."

I had a furnace and AC unit installed last July.  I got a letter earlier this month that said I was in violation because I didn't have the units inspected and the permit would be void in 10 days if I didn't settle the matter.  Like Mick, the contractor pulled the permit.  I called the heating company and told them I wasn't happy and then called the inspection office.  The very nice lady scheduled a visit by the inspector at a time of my convenience and he showed up exactly on time.  He went in the basement and said "Yup, that's a furnace." and put an Approved sticker on it.  He went outside and looked at the AC unit and said, "Yup, that's a condenser unit." and slapped an Approved sticker on it.  Then he shook my hand, said goodbye and left.

 

I hope my situation ends like that.

The guy, John, at Inspections and Permits sounded sympathetic so I don't think I'm going to get whacked by the April 20th deadline for having an inspector check the fix to whatever the violation is.  John agreed that's a problem when I don't even know what I have to do and the deadline is just a few days after Easter.

This is one of those cases where you don't want to curse that department and people because they have you by the balls if you piss them off.

Still, I pointed out to John that I had phoned his department to get some clarity on things in the Spring of 2021, when they were shorthanded by the pandemic, and the answering voice said don't leave a message because we can't get back to you.  He agreed.  I hope he's as cooperative as he sounds.

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1 hour ago, Kzoo said:

In a discussion with an inspector several years ago regarding an occupancy permit for a house I built for our family, he said, "I wouldn't be too concerned.  There isn't a judge in the state that will throw you out of your own home."

I had a furnace and AC unit installed last July.  I got a letter earlier this month that said I was in violation because I didn't have the units inspected and the permit would be void in 10 days if I didn't settle the matter.  Like Mick, the contractor pulled the permit.  I called the heating company and told them I wasn't happy and then called the inspection office.  The very nice lady scheduled a visit by the inspector at a time of my convenience and he showed up exactly on time.  He went in the basement and said "Yup, that's a furnace." and put an Approved sticker on it.  He went outside and looked at the AC unit and said, "Yup, that's a condenser unit." and slapped an Approved sticker on it.  Then he shook my hand, said goodbye and left.

 

Yep that's covering my town paycheck this week.

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1 hour ago, Kzoo said:

In a discussion with an inspector several years ago regarding an occupancy permit for a house I built for our family, he said, "I wouldn't be too concerned.  There isn't a judge in the state that will throw you out of your own home."

I had a furnace and AC unit installed last July.  I got a letter earlier this month that said I was in violation because I didn't have the units inspected and the permit would be void in 10 days if I didn't settle the matter.  Like Mick, the contractor pulled the permit.  I called the heating company and told them I wasn't happy and then called the inspection office.  The very nice lady scheduled a visit by the inspector at a time of my convenience and he showed up exactly on time.  He went in the basement and said "Yup, that's a furnace." and put an Approved sticker on it.  He went outside and looked at the AC unit and said, "Yup, that's a condenser unit." and slapped an Approved sticker on it.  Then he shook my hand, said goodbye and left.

 

I hoped he washed that hand ASAP.

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1 minute ago, Longjohn said:

I do it all the time. It’s just a big money grab by the government.

Yes and no.  If you know what you are doing, no.  If you don't know what you are doing, you can create a very bad situation where a multi tenant structure collapses, trapping residents and putting first responders at risk.

So a guy building a house out in the country, I am fine with no permit, but a slum lord building a fire trap needs to be caught and locked up.

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Just now, Longjohn said:

We need permits for every little thing like changing a water heater or a furnace. I go by the don’t ask don’t tell philosophy.

But you know what you are doing.  What about some guy that leaves the gas to the water heater leaking and the pilot light kicks on and blow the house to splinters and maybe the houses on either side of him?   

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5 minutes ago, jsharr said:

But you know what you are doing.  What about some guy that leaves the gas to the water heater leaking and the pilot light kicks on and blow the house to splinters and maybe the houses on either side of him?   

He is rewarded with a new house just like Mick. 🤪

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3 minutes ago, Longjohn said:

I do it all the time. It’s just a big money grab by the government.

Same here. I fully expected it with the yahoos with a truck that dropped my irrigation well. But the one that really surprised me was a well known and respected electrical company who changed the main panels in mine as well as my neighbors homes failed to file a permit. After a couple house fires due to aluminum wiring, the HOA negotiated a special price with the company if any of the 100 residents in the neighborhood wanted to take advantage of it at their expense. Essentially, the swapped out the Federal Pacific panels for Square D.  Noticed that when reviewing county website on permits for my home and noted what was missing vs known work. One of the permits did help me remember how old my roof was.

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20 minutes ago, jsharr said:

But you know what you are doing.  What about some guy that leaves the gas to the water heater leaking and the pilot light kicks on and blow the house to splinters and maybe the houses on either side of him?   

That does happen whether by accident or intentional. I used to drive past an empty three story brick house that had been on the market for a long time. I drove past it one day and it was there and the next day it was gone, completely gone. Just the basement was there and the bricks were all over the neighborhood. Blew out windows in surrounding houses but miraculously no body was injured. There wasn’t enough evidence left to prove it was intentional.

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