keys being handed over in front of sold sign; can you sell a house with a violation?

Can You Sell a House With a Violation?

Are you looking at selling your home, but starting to wonder if you can sell a house with a violation? Buyers can be scared off by this result, and you might not have the money available to fix the violations. 

As a homeowner, you may already be aware of violations in your home and are wondering, “Can you sell a house that’s not up to code?” The good news is there are options for selling your house even if it has code violations.

What “Not Up to Code” Means

There are state and federal regulations in place to make sure your home is safe to live in. These guidelines are called building codes, and all homes are subject to them. Building codes are regularly updated, and you should review your state’s codes before you go to sell your home. In Florida, the residential building code is updated every three years. The latest update has been in effect since January 2021.

If you do not meet the requirements, your house is considered “not up to code.” Code violations can be simple fixes like installing the correct amount of smoke detectors, or they could be expensive problems with the structure of your home. So can you sell a house with a violation in Florida?

Common Code Violations

Specific building codes vary by state. In Florida, recent updates to the building code include improvements in energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, roofing upgrades, and wind resistance of homes.

Some of the most common code violations in homes include:

  • Handrails on Staircases
    • Your railing must turn and end at the wall so people won’t catch their sleeves or other items on the rail as they walk by and lose their balance.
  • Smoke Detectors
    • You need to have the right amount of smoke detectors placed correctly in your home. They should be installed on each level of your house and outside each bedroom.
  • Windows
    • Any window placed near stairs, bathrooms, or where someone could fall into one should be made of tempered glass. This prevents the window from shattering and injuring people. In Florida, there are codes requiring more wind-resistant windows to withstand hurricanes. 
  • Bathroom Ventilation
    • Fans in bathrooms need to vent to the outside and not other interior locations like attics.
  • Water Heaters, HVAC Units
    • Older water heaters and other heating and cooling systems in your home may be out of date and won’t pass current inspections. Newer codes promote more efficient units and safety features.
electrical plug in front of a wall socket; can you sell a house with a violation
  • National Electric Code (NEC)
    • There are national standards for the electric system in your home. Electric panels may need to be updated to stay within code. You may also be in violation if you do not have GFCI outlets near sources of water in kitchens and bathrooms and outdoors. The ground-fault circuit interrupter on these outlets keeps you from getting electrocuted or having electrical issues in your home if water gets into the outlets.
  • Homeowners Association (HOA)
    • If your property is part of an HOA you need to adhere to their rules and regulations as well. They govern the exterior appearance of your home and may place limitations on what you can have in or on your property. 
    • You may have to change the color of your house, update your landscaping, or meet other requirements before you can sell your home. While HOA guidelines won’t affect the closing of your sale, violations can be costly. You may have to pay fines or pay for the cost of making the required changes.

Do You Need to Disclose Violations?

Sellers will need to disclose any violations their home has to buyers. In Florida, a seller must disclose all known facts that affect their home’s value to the buyer. This includes any legal claims to the property and repairs that local, state, or federal authorities require. 

It’s always best to be upfront about issues and disclose any violations in your home. Potential buyers will find code violations while conducting home inspections and it’s best not to be surprised.

Can You Sell a House With a Violation?

Can you sell a house with a violation in Florida? Yes, homeowners can sell their house even if it has code violations. There are several options the homeowner can choose from to sell the property even when it’s not up to code. 

  • Fix the Violations and Move on With the Sale

Some violations are easy to fix and don’t cost the seller a lot of money. If you have a code violation regarding smoke detectors, you can resolve the problem by installing new smoke detectors in your home where building codes require them. 

Other low-cost violations include updating electrical outlets and bathroom exhaust fans. These are fairly inexpensive fixes that can resolve your violation quickly so you can move ahead with your sale. 

You can also hire professionals to fix significant issues with your electrical or plumbing systems or structural problems in your home. A licensed contractor, plumber, or electrician can work with you to bring your house up to code.

  • Lower the Price of Your Home

Some code violations require expensive repairs that you may be unable to afford. Roof replacements or updating an electrical panel are two examples of costly repairs. If the seller cannot afford to make the repairs themselves, they can lower the price of their home and sell it to buyers as-is. This discount gives buyers the option to pay for repairs once the sale has gone through. 

Any home sold as-is must be safe to live in. The code violations can’t threaten the health or wellbeing of the buyer. While the lower price may attract potential buyers, you may have trouble finalizing the home’s sale because code violations are a title issue. 

Title issues complicate who owns the property and make closing on a home a more lengthy and difficult process.

contractor inspecting a front door frame; can you sell a house with a violation

Working with Meli Homes

A third option if your home has code violations is to sell it to a company that specializes in buying distressed properties. Companies like Meli Homes regularly buy houses in their current condition and are experienced in dealing with code violations and title issues. If we don’t buy your home outright, we can offer guidance in listing and selling your property to bypass the traditional real estate process. 

If you have expensive repairs you cannot afford to make or need to sell your house quickly, a professional home buyer is a great option. 

Can you sell a house with code violations to Meli Homes? Definitely. Meli purchases homes in Florida that require repairs. We have experience buying as-is dwellings and homes with title issues. We’ll handle the paperwork for you and typically close within 30 days or less. 

Your home sale with Meli is easy and fast. We will walk through your home and, if we are interested in buying, make you an offer within 24 hours. You don’t have to worry about making repairs or the sale falling through; simply accept or reject the offer and we’ll get the paperwork started. We can also help you list your property as-is to better your chances of a sale. Request a consultation today regarding your home with code violations near Orlando, Florida. 

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