Can She Avoid Expensive Forced Remodeling Due to Bldg Code Violations?

A woman who was charged with violating Cathedral City (CC) CA Muny Code (CCMC) # 138105, "Illegal Structure", a misdemeanor. Facts: Woman purchased property where the carport area was already converted to an attached room. Recently a disgruntled former tenant reported this conversion to the city authorities who charged woman with the code violation. In CC conversions must either retain the original parking structure or, if new construction, include a 2-car garage. As stated, woman BOUGHT PROPERTY IN CURRENT STATE. QUESTIONS: Was the lender or title co. supposed to warn her that bldg’s form was illegal & would cost money to repair? (2) Is there any way to avoid city compulsion to rebuild the garage & return bldg to original state?

La Mesa, CA -

Attorney Answers (1)

Nicholas Basil Spirtos

Nicholas Basil Spirtos

Government Attorney - Montclair, CA
Answered

If the structure is illegal, it is illegal. It either neither needs to be removed or brought within the code requirements. The buyer may have some sort of failure to disclose claim against the seller, the broker or the agent or some combination of the three.
Consult with a local real estate attorney.
There is nothing that can be done to avoid the city's correction order. Contact the city to work out some way to correct or remove the violation before it goes to further enforcement or conviction.

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