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I moved to Florida citrus County 3 years ago. NO ONE informed me that I was required to get permits for renovaons and or additions. Now the county Building inspector come around and charged me 4000 I am 70 years old and live mostly on SS. I did have built a small sewng shop I fix thins for neighbors and friends at a small cost which helps to may the bills and a car port for mt car and a storage shed. My SS only gives me 400 to live on. So I am just about broke. What can I do?
Asked on July 23, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 3 years ago | Contributor
Unfortunately, you most likely cannot do anything. You are not required to be given notice: rather the onus or responsibility is on you to find out (i.e. to look up, research, ask the town clerk or building/zoning department about, etc.) what the permitting, etc. requriments are. If failed to do you "due diligence" and find out if you needed a permit, that is your fault and your responsibility: you can be held liable for it.
The realtor had NO obligation to warn you of this, so they are not involved.
How were you to know? By, for example, calling the building department and asking if you needed a permit for what you intended to do.
You are liable for the $4,000, but they will probably agree to a payment plan (i.e. so you can pay over time) if you demonstrate financial need: try to negotiate something you can afford.