Seller: Is this a legal triplex?
City: It's occupied as a triplex.
The question was asked: “Is it a legal triplex?”
Per public records, this property was built in 1963 as a duplex in Oakland CA. Shortly after that, a permit was issued and finaled (approved) to add a bedroom and to relocate the laundry room in the basement. And since then, the property was occupied as a triplex.
The certificate of occupancy shows it as a triplex. It's used as a triplex. It’s zoned R-3. It’s been, and is being taxed as a triplex by the Tax Assessor’s office. Property profile on public records show it as a triplex.
Is there a 3-R report for Oakland CA?
Finding the answer as it pertains to 3R report in Oakland CA was a challenge. There is no clear path on the City’s website to find their description or form. I found San Francisco’s 3-R info…but not Oakland.
That’s ominous that Oakland doesn’t have this information easy to find.
What’s a 3R report?
A Report of Residential Building Record, also known as a 3R report describes the property as well as provide a record of permits or violations. This Report may contain the following information about a residential building besides the address, block and lot
· Percent authorized occupancy or use
· Building code occupancy classificiation
· Expiration date for non-conforming use
· Building construction date
· Original occupancy or use
· Building permit application history and status of permits
· Franchise Tax Board lien
· Abatement case on the property
· Number of residential structures on the lot
Here’s your 3R report...but what does it say?
When the seller received his 3-R report, it wasn’t clear what the City Planners were telling him. The planners still did not specify in black and white if the building is a triplex. It merely said it was occupied as a triplex.
Oh....and it identifies the building as circa 1926...but public records show it was built in 1963.?
So in spite of paying for the report (including the fee to rush the order), the Seller is nowhere near the clear answer that he wants.According to the Seller, here's what he encountered when he applied for the 3R report.
Triplex per 3R
“Zoning department said if I got an 3R report and a Certificate of Occupancy they could probably just grandfather it in as a Triplex.
The Zoning Department said that Oakland’s Planning and Permit had final say, and if they change the structure to an R-3 (triplex) that ends the matter. Building Permit / Planning department said it will just be accepted as a Triplex. Since it has been used as a dwelling since 1963 they probably could just reclassify it as a Triplex.”
Because of the ambiguity of the 3R report, the Seller is making another trip to see the Planners to ask them again: “Is this a legal triplex?”