Dealing With Difficult Building Inspectors, Towns, Villages & Cities. - Business - Contractor Talk

Dealing With Difficult Building Inspectors, Towns, Villages & Cities.

 
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:39 PM   #1
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Dealing With Difficult Building Inspectors, Towns, Villages & Cities.


It has been a while since I was on this site, but I'd like to share this experience with you. I am sure most of us have dealt with difficult inspectors & Villages. I had put up with them for 15 years. Last December I reached my breaking point. I bought a large 2 story wood sided rehab house in the Northwest suburbs of Illinois at a real estate auction. A few weeks later this Village sends me several violations for peeling paint & rotten sections of wood siding on the house. I went to the hearing and told them I have every intention of repairing all of this as soon as the weather permits it. The hearing officer did not want to hear it. He continued the case for 30 days and said I better have this done or else he is going to fine me a lot of money. I made it clear to him that no one can can paint the exterior of a house in the middle of an Illinois winter. I go back in 30 days and he issues 500 dollars in fines and once again tells me I better have it done in the next 30 days or else the fine will be increased at the next hearing.
I found out that these type of violations & fines can be appeal in Circuit Court. Without using a lawyer, it cost me only $75 dollars to file a lawsuit against the hearing officer and or the Village. In Illinois it takes several appearances and court dates to get to the actual trial. It cost me nothing for me to show up in court for an hour. But it did cost the Village $225 an hour to send one of their attorneys to try and collect the fines they issued against me. It also cost the Village attorney fees for them to file an answer to my lawsuit & to submit summaries to the judge before the actual trial. The whole process took 4 months. By that time it was warm enough to paint & caulk. I had about half of the exterior painted & repaired at the time of the final court date. I took pictures and brought them to court. The judge agreed with me that there is no way to paint a house in the winter time without having the paint peeling off in a month or so. The end result... it cost the Village over $1200 dollars in attorney fees to try and collect $500 in fines for me.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:09 PM   #2
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Re: Dealing With Difficult Building Inspectors, Towns, Villages & Cities.


Sometimes one needs to know the rules before you play the game...

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Old 10-28-2013, 10:17 PM   #3
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Re: Dealing With Difficult Building Inspectors, Towns, Villages & Cities.


They knew exactly what it was going to cost. They are lawyers.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:23 PM   #4
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Re: Dealing With Difficult Building Inspectors, Towns, Villages & Cities.


Now you've caused them to have to go extra hard on some other schmozzes to make that $1700 back up.....happy???

You just didn't pay what they considered your fair share!
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:18 AM   #5
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Re: Dealing With Difficult Building Inspectors, Towns, Villages & Cities.


The taxpayers in that town are wasting money on upper level management. I expect that they are fine with that.

Good on you for sticking to your guns and at least letting trying to protect your interests. What you did won't change the way they think but at least you have peace of mind knowing that you did the right thing.

I am a law abiding citizen but when the law allows me to contest an unnecessary hardship, I am there protesting with bells on. It's the American way.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:30 AM   #6
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Re: Dealing With Difficult Building Inspectors, Towns, Villages & Cities.


Sounds like someone was looking for payola.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:10 AM   #7
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Re: Dealing With Difficult Building Inspectors, Towns, Villages & Cities.


Quote:
Originally Posted by svronthmve View Post
Now you've caused them to have to go extra hard on some other schmozzes to make that $1700 back up.....happy???

You just didn't pay what they considered your fair share!
Am I happy? Absolutely. During the time I was rehabbing the home, several neighbors came by the look at inside of the house. Not only does this Village give Builders a hard time, they also give it's residents a hard time. A few examples are...one homeowner got a $150 fine for leaving a lawn mower outside in his back yard. Another got a $100 dollar fine for having a non outside style chair on his front porch. It actually was a kitchen chair. During the time I was working on house, the Mayor & 3 trustees lost their bid to get re elected. Their policy of trying to extract money out of it's residents with these petty fines certainly contributed to their election lose.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:35 AM   #8
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Re: Dealing With Difficult Building Inspectors, Towns, Villages & Cities.


We ran an inspector off last year in a neighboring municipality, also ran off the county flood plane administrator. We had a party afterwards at a past HBA presidents lake house. They were both over zealous, made rules up as they went to the benefit of no one. They work for us, they should remember that. If not, get going.


Your local newpaper and staying up to snuff on who is running for what office works wonders when getting someone straitened out or run off.

Im all for strict inspectors. But I want to know what he expects outside the code, and it needs to be a level playing feild for everyone.

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