Does this sound as Fishy to you as me???? - Posted by MattB

Posted by Del-Ohio on September 15, 2003 at 21:43:59:

Get a little closer to the fish to see if it really smells…

Change the contingency to … contingent upon passing inspection. Inspection to be completed in … days.

Then hire an inspector to tell you what if anything needs upgraded.

Unless he is hiding something this should satisfy both parties. If its a good deal, dont throw it out because of minor verbage differences.

Dont get hung up on minor details, always ask how can we both get what we want. Dont read too much into this until you have asked better questions. He likely doesnt want surprises at the end any more then you do.

My Viewpoint


Does this sound as Fishy to you as me??? - Posted by MattB

Posted by MattB on September 15, 2003 at 21:22:33:


I have an offer in with a Seller on an older multi-unit apartment. It’s in average shape.

Since it is an older property I placed a contingency in my addendum that “Seller warrants that property conforms to all building codes”.

Seller refuses to accept this contingency and says that they will state that they are “Not aware of any code violations” instead.

It’s a simple matter to have the local Code Enforcement agency check a property so what gives?

Does this sound as fishy to the rest of you as it does to me?

I’m considering retracting the offer because of this. Please give feedback.


Re: Does this sound as Fishy to you as me??? - Posted by MattB

Posted by MattB on September 16, 2003 at 14:15:09:

Thanks all! I feel much better now…

Re: Does this sound as Fishy to you as me??? - Posted by art c

Posted by art c on September 16, 2003 at 09:21:25:

I have been a contractor for over twenty years. Every single building I have ever encountered in is this country has some sort of violation. Code is constantly evolving & changing. Any building that is older than ten years will likely contain some detail that would not be permitted now.
An owner can’t possibly warrant no violations.
It is asking for a physical impossiblity. If a so called violation exists in an older building , does not mean the building is legally required to be changed. Buildings are largely built correctly initally. Subsequent years can bring code changes.

The imporatant points are; do you have a legal egress bedroom windows? Do you have an inspected up to date fire alarm system. Concentrate on what the fire marshal wants to see. That 's where any money for changes should go.

Re: Does this sound as Fishy to you as me??? - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on September 16, 2003 at 08:57:13:


I agree with the others, and as a seller, I wouldn’t do that either.

Also, in NYC, I wouldn’t call in a code enforecemnt official because of corruption issues. It’s been reported that most of the building inspectors were arrested at one time or another for kickbacks and bribes. And because of the arrests, inspections take forever. The bset time for them to hold you up is when you sell the place, and they go out of the way to find a problem.

Now, there’s another solution.

In the suburbs, they’ve been tough on meeting codes for SFH’s being sold. There are architects speciallizing in “checking for code violations”. I hired one to check out my own place. It cost me $200.00 for a SFH, probably more for a multi family.

Here, in NY, LI, you check under “expeditors”. These folks specialize in getting paperwork done in building departments, especially code violations. Some are professional architects, and some are not.

For code violations, I would go with an architect. In my case there’s another one in town, not an architect, costs half as much, but is booked up weeks in advance.

Hope this helps.

Frank Chin

Re: Does this sound as Fishy to you as me??? - Posted by Nate(DC)

Posted by Nate(DC) on September 16, 2003 at 24:26:41:

If I were a seller I’d never sign that, even if I had a good faith belief that the property conformed to code. Why? I don’t want to “warrant” it, because that means, if I am wrong, I am required to fix it! This could potentially be an on-going liability - i.e. if you come back to me 5 years later and claim there is a code violation and I have to pay you to correct it.

I agree with the other two posters - make it contingent on your inspection - and, make sure your inspector is someone competent.


Re: Does this sound as Fishy to you as me??? - Posted by Brent_IL

Posted by Brent_IL on September 15, 2003 at 22:16:26:

I’d agree with Del that you shouldn’t read too much into this. Maybe stuff is grandfathered, but won’t pass new code. Perhaps, he has not been cited, but doesn’t want to rock the boat if you don’t buy.

I’d work on getting a useable deal subject to inspection approval.