Check the permits

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Are you considering buying a recently renovated building? One that has washers and dryers in the units?

Check the permits!

To put washers and dryers into a building that was not built for them, you need to re-size all of the plumbing, including water supply, waste and gas lines.

If you put washers and dryers in without upsizing the permits, you are taking a risk. The risk is that the city comes in and demands that you either produce permits for the upsized plumbing or rip out the washer / dryers.

It is possible to re-pipe a building with tenants inside, but it’s expensive and stressful for the tenants.

If you choose instead to rip out the washer / dryers, then your tenants have a valid case for a rent reduction. And, even if they don’t pursue that remedy, when they move out, you will find it harder to rent the units, since a major amenity will be gone.

Why do I harp on this issue so much? Because we do of our renovations with permits (we learned the hard way!!) and it bothers me to see people cutting corners and sticking the new owners with the risk.

Finally: If you’re working with a broker and looking at a renovated deal and your broker hasn’t helped you pull and review the permit record, watch out. Brokers walk away from closed deals with their commissions; new owners are stuck dealing with the fall-out.

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