Monday, September 23, 2013

Orlando Permits, Code Violations Oh My

Many buyers think that a title company will uncover all potential liens and violations against a property. That's not 100% accurate.  Title companies can only discover RECORDED liens against a property, not UNRECORDED liens.  One way to discover unrecorded liens is to pay for a municipal lien search.  A municipal lien search is a search for items at the county or local government level attached to the property, they could include code violations, outstanding utility bills (water is a common one), outstanding permits, business taxes or special local taxes that are unpaid.  Believe it or not 9 out of 10 Central Florida Title companies do not automatically do these searches.  You have to make a special request.  For the nominal amount of $200 +/- it always good to pay for the municipal lien search and have piece of mind.  This is an option we present to buyers at the onset of their transaction.  An informed buyer is a smart buyer.

Here's another tip, if you are at the early stages of looking for a property, then you maybe able to find out a permit status of a home buy looking on the individual Counties website.  Its free and may provide some useful information when looking closer at Central Florida Homes for Sale.

Orange County Permit Look Up
Lake County Permit Look Up
Osceola County Permit Look Up
Polk Count Permit Look Up

UPDATED AS OF 10/1/13
Sometimes governmental and quasi-governmental entities place a lien on property that isn’t discovered until closing, which disrupts an otherwise good transaction. A bill by Realtor and Rep. John Wood (R-Winter Haven) requires these liens to now be recorded in the county where the property is located to be valid.

This only applies to liens entered by a governmental or quasi-governmental entity for services, fines or penalties, however. It does not affect liens for taxes, non-ad valorem or special assessments, or utilities.