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What if your $600,000 home sale was in jeopardy, but a 15-year-old who lived around the corner could save it for about $30?
We recently got a call from a Realtor® who was selling a home, and the township would not issue a use and occupancy certificate because the grass wasn’t cut.
While that may sound like an excessive action by the township and a violation of Act 133, it actually was not illegal. The reality was that the township had issued a citation for the overgrown grass before the home sale began.
Act 133 prevents municipalities from withholding resale certificates based on code issues discovered during point-of-sale inspections, but it does not apply to pre-existing violations. Such violations might include building code violations, or missing or open permits.
We can glean two pieces of advice from this anecdote:
1) Listing agents should be proactive about finding out whether there are municipal code violations standing against a client’s property.
2) When it comes to small fixes — mowing the lawn, installing a smoke detector, etc. — it’s often faster and easier to simply address the issue than to fight city hall.
Read more about Act 133 in our blog post: ‘When Do I Schedule Inspections?’ And Other Important Questions.