Fire Code Check

I’m buying a 46 unit apartment building. I hear that I should have the Fire Dept come and do an inspection - is that correct?

Roof was replaced - should I check to see if it was done with “permit,” same for electrical, plumbing, boilers and windows, to avoid any liability should anything happen. I will have them inspected, however should I check for “permits” on the replacements?


Yes, if there have been recent upgrades you need to determine if they were done legally. If not, you could be in a world of trouble.

However, I would NEVER invite government officials to come and inspect your property. That’s like inviting a child molester to babysit your children! I like to stay as far away from government nimrods as possible. What if you get one who has a chip on his shoulder? They can make your life miserable. I could tell you a story about a friend of mine who has had her rental property shut down for the last year or so…


In my area, there are “professional engineers”, who can come and inspect things and tell me if there are “code violations” if code inspectors come. I had one of those done before selling a properrty because I knew some of the work was done without permits, some not up to code.

I done this on more than one occasion. In one case, I needed a variance hearing because with the work done, it exceeded the allowable land to building ratio.

There are also folks called “expeditors” in my area whose lot in life is dealing with filing paperwork, code inspectors, and usually, one of these guys can recommend the professional, the top of the line being a “licensed architect”.

While this is not the situation everywhere, because of corruption of code inspectors in NYC, most of them were arrested, and a regeime of self inspection was started where licensed architects can “self inspect” work done. In the building where I had illegal work done, he simply filed plans on what was done. I had to make some repairs to bring a few things to code. He then fills out the inspection report, and I passed the self inspection.

I used a expeditor in conjuction with the architect who saved me a bundle, Fines are assessed for illegally done work where permits and inspections are done years afterwards. The trick is to get a permit for the work, that was done years ago, wait 30 to 45 days, then certify it was done, as if it was done within the last 30 days.

This follows the sequence of normally done work, and raises no red flags.