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Re: Owner force himself to occupy the bldg

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I agree with Tom's response to this. The discretion is left to the Building 
Official who has the authority to tag the residence and prevent the owner 
from occupying. The Bulding Official can also issue a conditional CO which 
allows the owner to occupy so long as stated deficiencies are corrected 
within an established time period. This may occur (as it did in my case) 
where the owner or tenent has no other place to live, the structure is not a 
life threat and the issues can are willing to be resolved by both parties 
within an agreeable time period.
The Owner or his GC still has to obtain a Notice of Completion with the 
County that resolves any liens against the property otherwise the owner 
remains liable for any outstanding claims should the GC not pay his 
sub-contractors. The owner, if I recall correctly, can not file for a Notice 
of Completion with the county until a CO has been issued. I might have this 
turned around and possibly someone who has done this recently can confirm or 
corrrect me.
In any case, the Inspector is well within his rights to refuse a CO until all 
written corrections have been addressed to the satisfaction of the building 
official. If these are structural deficiency issues, the engineer must 
provide the appropriate response justifying his design or addressing the 
concerns of the inspector. If they are incomplete construction issues, the 
contractor should not have been released a progress payment by the escrow 
company or lender of the construction loan until the work has been completed 
and verified.
Most contractors of smaller residential projects (including custom homes) do 
not have a penalty clause for surpassing the completion date. I've tried to 
include this in the construction contract of my home and could not find a GC 
to sign such a contract. 
I think the degree of difficulty is based upon whether this is a structural 
problem or architectural issue. In my case, the building official did not 
want me to move in until I had cabinets and carpet in place. I convinced him 
to allow me to put temporary cabinets in place to allow a sink and running 
water and to give me six months to have my cabinets completed. The flooring 
was to be tile and I overran my construction budget. It took three years to 
put the floor in but the building official's concern was one of energy 
compliance based upon flooring. Since my floor was a solid mass - he was not 
concerned if I choose to live on concrete or tile.
Since this is a small town, he has kept track of our status and was pleased 
that we completed the house as we promised.

Dennis S. Wish PE

In a message dated 6/6/99 8:41:18 AM Pacific Daylight Time, picpc(--nospam--at) 

<< If the owner occupied the sturcture prior to obtaining a C of O, the owner 
in in violation of the UBC and subject to the laws of the local authority.  
If there is a descripsency, this needs to be resolved prior to isssuance of a 
C of O. The engineer does not have the authority to overrule the building 
department. The issue should be taken up with the building official. 
Generally, the local ordinances will have the penelities listed, building 
voilations such as this would be a misdeandor.
 TOm Liberty
 supervising Plans Examiner
 Precision Inspection   Company >>