Modena, NY asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for New York

Q: I asked a question regarding legal living space before but I think I left put some details

I am closing in the sale of my home. I work at the town office in the assessing department and so I am familiar with glitches that can happen with open permits etc. I am selling a Victorian home built in 1890 which has an unheated attic with sheetrocked walls and newer windows. The attic was this way when I bought the house in 2013.

I asked building in June to please let me k ow any issues with my house I would need to clear up before I sell the house. They listed 2 open permits which I promptly obtained COs for. In October 7th they brought up an issue with my attic needing to have egress window does which has blocked my sale. They have issued a violation in my property and now the buyers cannot get a mortgage because of it. There are two issues I have.

1. Why was this not found in previous sales of the home and is just now being brought up at the zero hour

2. I am hearing that unheated attic space cannot be considered living space and I should not have to do anything to it

1 Lawyer Answer
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: I have not seen your contract or listing. There is likely nothing wrong with an attic with no windows if it is not a living space. If the contract or listing represented that it was a living space, that is your problem. It is not the house that is in violation. It is the way you are using it (so the appraiser marked it as a living space) or the way you are marketing it. Without seeing all the papers, I can offer no more of an opinion.

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