To all buyers in Unincorporated St Louis County: Beginning July 1, ALL of unincorporated St Louis County is requiring new occupants of a house, duplex or condo to obtain a residential reoccupancy permit before you move in.
The inspection CANNOT be scheduled over the phone. You must apply in person at either the South or North County Government Offices or online at www.stlouisco.com. Their website has good information about what the inspectors are looking for, etc. From the homepage, click on the County Government tab to open the drop down menu and click on Public Works. On that page you'll see a tab named 'Reoccupancy Permit System'. Or just click here: www.stlouisco.com/publicworks/.
The cost of the ispection is $80 and includes one reinspection. Any subsequent inspections will cost $40. They can accept payment with cash, check or money order. They CANNOT accept credit card or debit card payments at this time.
There are specific instructions to adhere to if the property being inspected is occupied at the time of the inspection! If occupied, the owner or adult representative must attend the inspection, all utilities must be turned on, *all pictures/wall hangings must be removed from the wall, all furniture must be moved 24 inches away from walls - including basement and garage, sink plumbing must be visible for inspection and basements must be free of clutted for the inspection of plumbing, HVAC, etc.
Here's my argument against this new requirement: The St Louis Residential Sales Contract requires the seller to pay for and have the occupancy inspection performed. So, while they are still living in the home, they have to have everything taken off the walls and everything moved 24 inches away from the walls for the inspector. That's pretty excessive, I feel. I've also talked with several people who have been through the inspection, and they've told me the inspectors knit-pick the house to death.
I'm not against Occupancy Inspections, but when they're excessive and make the seller pay and then jump through all kinds of hoops, it's just plain stupid. We go through them all the time in the city (on my listings and my rental units), and it's never been that much of a hassle.
If I am going to list an occupied home and represent a seller in Unincorporated St Louis County, I am going to suggest that my seller credit the buyer the $80 towards the inspection, and not agree to do the occupancy inspection. The buyer will be responsible for it after they close on the house and before they move in. That way they house is vacant and everything off and away from the walls.
What do you think about this new requirement? Do you also feel it's excessive, too? I'd like to know what you think about it, especially if you live in or are considering moving to Unincorporated St Louis County...