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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Advocate for your seller, but practice diplomacy with municipality

Posted by: Pete Kennedy on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at 9:00:00 am Comments (0)

When dealing with a local government during a property sale, it's important to maintain an appropriate level of respect for its authority under state law — mainly because it's in your and your client's best interest. 

For example, if you submitted a U&O inspection application and haven't heard back for a week, it's reasonable to call or email to follow up. 

However, if your client wants to dispute a legitimate property maintenance issue cited during an inspection or otherwise wants to take an adversarial approach toward the municipality, try to help them understand that there are some things that simply fall within the municipality's discretion, and arguing the point could result in settlement delays and a more difficult interaction. 

Some things simply fall within the municipality's discretion, and arguing the point could result in settlement delays and a more difficult interaction.

Of course, there are times when a municipality oversteps. A municipality can check for an item that's not on its U&O inspection checklist, but it can't require escrow as a condition of issuing a U&O certificate. In addition, municipalities in Pennsylvania must follow the Municipal Code and Ordinance Compliance Act once inspections have been completed.

Feel free to contact us if you're not sure about whether a municipality is truly out of line or simply being overzealous in its enforcement. We field plenty of those calls and are always happy to help provide guidance and clarity.


Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

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