Permits are an official record that grant permission for certain work to begin while allowing for checks & balances along the way. Items requiring permits can include:
- a change of use to the property, such as: adding / moving a bathroom, making a bedroom & bathroom into one large bathroom, finishing a rec. room
- building an addition onto a home
- making a material / structural alterations to a building or structure
- demolition of a building
- filling in an in ground pool
Generally, your lawyer will determine if any permits were taken out and not completed…that is, whether there are any outstanding work orders regarding their completion. Of course, you will want ascertain who is responsible for not only completing this work but who will be paying for it.
The other not readily apparent issue concerning permits are those where no permit was obtained in the first place. When buying a home, we recommend you ascertain from the Vendor, your professional realtor, lawyer or other sources (as need be) what work has been carried out to the home that is not “original to it” (if any). Once this has been determined, ascertain whether or not appropriate permits were obtained, if required, including the “final” inspections from the authorities having jurisdiction over same e.g. building / plumbing from the municipal building department, electrical from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), etc.
Do your research and avoid surprises.