Today in St Louis - April 3, 2007

Real Estate Agent with Platinum Realty 1999090686

Stormy day today, and the temps are dropping.  Supposed to have near freezing temps for the next several nights.  What a change...

I wanted to share some information about a situation that occured on the Tholozan property last week.  It's a two-family, with one side rented.  The listing agent several times told me that everything was going fine with the occupancy permits.  As closing day loomed and I wasn't getting copies of the permits, I called the City of St Louis Housing Conservation District.  They informed me that there was an active permit on the vacant side, but the certificate had expired on the rented side.  I decided to run downtown to the office and see the paperwork for myself.  It was as they had said, and I confirmed what I knew to be correct.  Any time a property changes ownership or occupancy in a Conservation District, all units must be inspected, if there is not an active permit on the unit (certificates are good for 1 year - during that year, they do not have to be inspected again).  I called the listing agent and told him what I had found out.  The listing agent and seller were under the impression that as long as there was no change in tenancy, the unit would not have to be reinspected, even though the certificate had expired.  My buyer would not proceed until the seller went down and paid the $70 to have the rented side inspected.  He now has to have the unit inspected himself, but at least the inspection is paid for.  The unit is clean and in great condition, so I don't expect any problems.  I should have confirmed this sooner in the deal, but I was depending on the listing agent and seller to do what they were supposed to by the contract.  Lesson learned...

So, any time a property is sold or changes tenancy, all units of a property must have an occupancy inspection, unless the certificate on the unit has not expired.  The cost of the inspection is $70 for the first unit and $25 for each additional unit.  You can go downtown to City Hall, Room 406, 1200 Market Street and pay in person, or you can mail a check (made out to the City of St Louis) to the office wait 3-4 days, and then call to arrange the inspection.  They will give you the name and number of the inspector.  You will have to call during the inspector's office hours (8-9:30 am) to schedule the time for the inspection. 

The inspection is a basic code inspecton designed to check for minimal interior building code violations, and meet minimum exterior standards.  It is not intended to imply a guarantee or warranty as to the overall condition of the building and its systems.  What I have found that they really look for is working smoke detectors, no peeling paint or falling plaster, no leaky faucets, and a clean appearance.  It's not that hard to pass the inspection.

For more information on the City of St Louis Housing Conservation Districts, call 314-622-3352.



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Christopher Currins
CBC Home Inspections - Godfrey, IL
Metro East Home Inspector - IL.

 Occupancy permit inspections are of course to check codes and the condition of property. But they are also a way of city hall to keep records of who is living where. Which can be helpful if you have tenants damaging property or being delinquent with rental payments.  Also a way to keep tract of criminals.

 To get a more thorough inspection on the condition of the property you need to have it done by a qualified home inspector. This can save you many headaches and help avoid unexpected problems before and after closing.

Apr 03, 2007 07:39 AM #1
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Tim Tanz

St Louis Real Estate
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