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eviction woes

how does the law allow tenants who have occupied the property for 9 months pose a reason for not paying rent for a deck which was built many years ago(when I occupied the property, and carpenter told me I didnt meed a permit). It poses no safety hazard and they have enjoyed it all summer!!! Now at eviction time they claim exemption for rent for non-conforming deck...bullshit!

Wow, that stinks and I think I would get an attorney possibly on this and fight it. A non-conforming deck to me has nothing to do with non-payment of rent. I managed a large community which has balconies on many of the apartments. During an inspection, it was found that many of them were not totally up to code. We had to send notices out and put warning stickers so the tenants could not use them. But they still had to pay the rent. We did however offer a concession of a discount to their monthly rent for the inconvenience.
First of all if they felt unsafe they should of informed you before they were in the rears with the rent. They are giving you the business!
The ONLY thing that a building permit does is PERMIT YOU TO SELL YOUR PROPERTY; as that must be disclosed at the time of sale and you may not be able to SELL the property without a permit on file; or if it was in place prior to you purchasing the home and many years before, they you are not responsible.  A tenant cannot hold you responsible for a  deck that was there when they signed the lease, have enjoyed, etc UNLESS you have a LEASE TO OWN option in place.  The ONLY time you need a permit is when you go to SELL the property - that's it!
Would the best solution be to get a disclosure form signed for those kind of possible issues?
A building permit is usually pulled when building construction is being done for a fee, it is done so the building inspector can look at the work and inspect it to make sure it was done properly and it was done to building codes spects. You cannot just build without having building codes. That is why doors have to swing a certain way and electrical outlets are not 1 inch off the floor.
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