Why Should You Do a Permit Lien Search?

If you’re thinking about purchasing a property, or are a title agent, attorney or real estate agent representing a buyer, you need to know why municipal lien searches, specifically permit lien searches are important.

Most people know that title searches uncover any recorded liens on a property. What few people know is that there can be unrecorded charges on a property that can eventually result in a lien. Once a property is transferred to its new owner, the charges will no longer be the responsibility of the former property owner, but they become the responsibility of the current owner. The same is true for unresolved code violations; building permits which haven’t been closed properly and/or unpermitted structures.

Open or Expired Permits
Florida counties have deemed that permits are necessary to ensure updates to a home were done safely, with proper permitting and inspections. A property owner who has used a contractor, or opened a permit himself or herself, should close the permit at the conclusion of the work. Failing to properly close a permit can lead to potentially costly problems for a property buyer. If a permit lien search is not performed prior to closing, the new property owner is obligated to remedy or remove improperly permitted items.

To reassure a property buyer, an open and/or expired permit search should be conducted to ensure that there are no existing liens or obligations.

Contact the Professionals
Using a professional liens search company, such as Florida Municipal Lien Search (FLMS), will ensure buyers will hold title free and clear. The small cost of a professional lien search in Florida can uncover a large liability and other information that is vitally important. This information could potentially save the new property owner thousands of dollars, save hours of work to untangling the lien and save the owner from untold stress.

Don’t Forget Code Violations!
In addition to uncovering open or expired permits, a Florida municipal lien search will uncover code violations. Some of the most common of these unrecorded assessments and liens are:

• Unsafe Structures
• Property Maintenance Violations
• Uncut Lawn Violations
• Abandoned Vehicles
• Illegal Building
• Work without Permits Violation
• Illegal Parking
• Illegal Water Usage
• Meter Tampering
• Environmental Hazards
• Dirty Roof Violations
• Animal Service Violations