Can a city make a homeowner pay for a change in city code? 5 Answers as of August 16, 2011

Our city is inspecting sump pump connections to ensure that they are not dumping into the city's drainage system. The previous code allowed builders to do this, so can the city make the homeowner pay when the previous code allowed for this construction to occur?

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Frances R. Johnson
Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
I can't answer this without looking at the laws for the particular city in which this situation is occurring; each city has different laws. I suggest calling an property attorney where you live (should be able to find by calling your local bar association).
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/16/2011
Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
Probably. This is a problem for most sewer treatment facilities that costs the taxpayers millions of dollars, as the sump pumps force the city to treat rain water for no reason, and this means bigger waste water facilities, more chemicals, more employees, more pollution, etc. Most public health and safety issues can be forced upon you. I am sure that in spite of a previous code inspector allowing it, it was not legal on the books.
Answer Applies to: Maine
Replied: 8/16/2011
The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
This is not a landlord-tenant question. Fact scenario would require research and you would need a lawyer. This is a constitutional law issue.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/16/2011
Law Office of Jared Altman
Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
Yes. The city can upgrade its code and, if it chooses, make the change retroactive.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/16/2011
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
You should be grandfathered in and not have to make change. However, if you go to sell you will have to disclose code issue.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/16/2011
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