Can I Sell a House with Code Violations in Massachusetts?
Has your property been cited for a code violation? If your home has experienced lots of work performed by an unlicensed contractor, or a handyman throughout the years, there is a good chance you may have hidden residential building code violations as a result. Even if you recently purchased a home with previous code violations, the responsibility may fall on you. We buy houses with code violations across Massachusetts. Learn about how our process works here.
If you own a property with a code violation in Massachusetts, the numerous fees that are typically involved can be quite costly to resolve. The code is quite complex and minimum standards are required in order to stay in business.
According to Massachusetts law, the local city inspector is responsible for making sure that the building is up-to-code.
What Exactly Does ‘Up to Code’ Mean?
When a home is ‘up to code’, it means that the home meets the minimum safety criteria when it comes to categories such as:
- Structural Strength: Is your foundation and frame of the home in solid shape?
- Means of Egress: Does your home have sufficient emergency exits if there is a fire?
- Lighting / Ventilation: Does your home have good lighting and ventilation systems?
- Sanitation: Is water waste being drained accordingly in your plumbing?
- Life Safety: Does your property have a fire-safe layout?
- Energy Conservation: How efficient is your heating and air-cooling system?
Examples of Common Code Violations
- Bad Electrical Systems: A poorly structured electrical system can be a major fire and safety risk, especially if performed by an unlicensed handy-man
- Missing Handrails on Staircases: If your house is missing handrails, guests can slip and fall and in return sue you, creating a major liability
- Missing Smoke Alarms: A smoke alarm is your number one defense in case of a fire, it is critical they are not broken and always maintained
- Poor Bathroom Ventilation: All ventilation must be directed outside. Failing to do so, may create health hazards
- Old / Dangerous Windows: Older windows that haven’t been replaced can be dangerous. Double pane windows are always a good option if your windows need replacement
- Water Heater: A tank may explode causing damage to the house if it hasn’t been maintained or replaced within the recommended time frame
There are various other building code violations that may be associated with a property including zoning violations, noise violations, abatement citations. If you happen to be a landlord, tenants may also call the city if they consider the place they’re living in is not sanitary, which can create even more issues for you as a property owner if not addressed. Bad tenants that are facing eviction quite frequently call the city inspector as a way to try to find evidence against the homeowner that can be used in court.
Can I Sell My House Without Bringing It Up to Code?
If you don’t want to proceed with taking the time to fix and address your building code violations for your home in Massachusetts, you can still sell your house.
We are professional, BBB accredited real estate investors and we buy houses in as-is condition whether it’s up to code or not. This avoids you to deal with the hassles and financial burden of fixing the issues yourself and dealing with obtaining new permits to re-do the work in your house. A better option may be to sell the house quickly and move on. When you schedule a consultation with us, we’ll meet with you in person to evaluate your home together so we can put together a fair offer for your property. Since we make cash offers, this means quick closings and no worries about whether your property will sell or not.
For additional resources that explain the Massachusetts building code law, be sure to check out: Massachusetts State Building Code – 780 CMR and the Booklet from Mass Legal Help that includes a super helpful checklist (this article is particularly useful if you are a current landlord in Massachusetts).
We would love to talk to you about your situation and discuss your options. Get in touch with us by using the quick contact form below. We will handle the headache for you.