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Is Your House in Compliance?

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Have you done work to your home where the contractor said you didn't need a permit or you would save property tax dollars by not having one? In Stamford, you basically need a permit to change to light bulb (not really, but you get the point). Though the building permit process is not always the easiest to navigate, it can save last minute heartache by crossing all your T's and dotting all your I's, when you are having the work done.

In the last few years municipal searches done by the buyers' attorney, just prior to closing of title, has created a lot of last minute scrambling. An old open building permit can threaten to derail a closing, and sometimes that permit pre-dates your ownership. It is now easier and cheaper to resolve the issue of old open building permits due to a new ordinance recently passed by the City of Stamford. An "open" building permit is a building permit which has not been closed out by the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy or a Certificate of Completion. Before the new ordinance, the most common way to resolve the issue of open permits that were more than 6 years old was by way of a "6 Year Letter". A "6 Year Letter" is a letter issued by the Stamford Building Department that simply recites Section 29-265 of the Connecticut General Statutes. It used to cost $1,000.00 per open building permit for a 6 Year Letter.

Now, the Stamford Building Department will issue a Certificate of Estoppel which states that "absent evidence that life, health or safety are in jeopardy no action will be taken by the Stamford Building Department to prevent use and occupancy of the above referenced premises in its present form." The cost of a Certificate of Estoppel is $200.00 per open permit.

Doing your own municipal search may be a great pre-emptive tool. Call me for more information. (203) 536-2232

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