As a contractor, you’re likely to encounter construction violations. Building inspections or complaints often detect these, signaling non-compliance with local or state building codes. To resolve these violations, a process known as “abatement,” you’ll need to make necessary repairs or modifications to bring the building or structure back into compliance.
Before you can start the abatement process, however, there’s a crucial step you must take: securing a permit.
Dealing with code violations
After uncovering a violation, the building owner typically receives a Notice of Violation and an Order to Terminate. This document outlines the problems that need attention. As the contractor, you’re responsible for addressing these issues. For instance, if an inspection reveals that a building’s electrical system isn’t up to code, you’re the one who needs to fix it and ensure it adheres to all regulations. However, the law mandates that significant repairs or changes to the building, such as those needed to address code violations, require a construction permit. So, before you can start any repairs, you’ll need to secure the necessary permit.
While this might seem like a bureaucratic step, it’s essential. It ensures that all the work you do is legal and safe, protecting both you and your team from potential legal issues and safety risks.
Risks of working without a permit
Beginning a project without the necessary permits can lead to serious consequences, including fines and penalties that can reach up to $2000 per violation. In some cases, you might even face legal actions like a stop-work order, which could delay your project and add unexpected costs.
In addition, each violation is considered separately, so multiple violations can quickly escalate the fines. So, you should secure all necessary permits before starting a project. Once you’ve obtained the permits and started the repair work, you’ll not only be following the law but also demonstrating your commitment to professional, high-quality work.
Although acquiring a permit might involve some time and paperwork, it’s a worthwhile step that protects you and your clients from potential risks and liabilities.
Legal help in the process
To make the process smoother, you should consider seeking the help of an attorney. While this isn’t mandatory, they can guide you through the legal aspects both before you start work and while your project is ongoing.