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Question DetailsAsked on 9/22/2014

How can I obtain a permit for work already completed by an unlicensed contractor?

We made the mistake of hiring an unlicensed contractor (didn't know until the job was done) to build a new porch. He told me he had pulled a permit but we found out later that he hadn't. He also didn't build it to code. My husband has fixed the code problems and drawn up plans, hoping to be able to pull a permit himself before our inspection deadline next week. Unfortunately, he can't pull it himself since it's considered a investment property (we rent from my in-laws). We don't happen to have any friends who are licensed contractors... what can we do???

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1 Answer


There are several similar prior questions like your, with responses, right below this answer.

Depends on your local building department - I would talk to them IN PERSON, preferably to a supervisor, and explain your issue. Many areas will issue the permit to the property owner and do the inspection as long as you sign a statement about the contractor stating he was licensed and was not - that allows them to go after HIM and hopefuly remove him from the marketplace. Others are more hardnosed and will require you to get the correct type of contractor for your job and area, have HIM pull the permit and, after he has looked it over and fixed any remaining issues, call for the inspection.

One other alternative, in some areas, is for a "private inspection" by a structural engineer, who will inspect it and, once up to snuff, issue an approval letter that is then filed with the building department, and they do not inspect it at all - just take the money for the building permit - and if nasty, the penalty fee for not having a permit up front (commonly 1-3 times the permit fee), though most jurisdictions have a waiver procedure for the penalty fee in cases where the property owner had been falsely told by the contractor that he was properly licensed.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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