Who’s responsible if a previous homeowner didn’t close a building permit?
The short answer is: the new homeowner. But if the new homeowner has title insurance, they can get the cost of work required to close the permit covered, if the municipality forces them to do so.
For instance, Gemma and George* purchased a property and a few months after closing, they received a letter from the municipality stating that they were responsible for completing the required work to close an open permit. Apparently, their basement was finished by a previous owner who got a building permit, however, they did not complete the outstanding deficiencies required to close the permit.
Luckily for Gemma and George, they had a title insurance policy from FCT. We paid out $22,759.45 for the work required to satisfy the outstanding building permit. And the couple was spared the stress and expense of dealing with this hassle.
For the one-time cost of a few hundred dollars for a title insurance policy on what may be the biggest investment you’ll ever make, you can be protected from issues like this and more. Title insurance also protects you from title fraud, zoning and survey issues, encroachments, etc.
To find out more about title insurance, read our blog Title Insurance: What every homeowner needs to know.
If you have any questions, feel free to share them with us in the comments section!
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of our customers.
Coverage varies by province. This is for general information only. For specific coverage, please refer to your title insurance policy.