This is a portion of an actual summary I included in a commercial inspection report I prepared recently.
It is not often that we begin an inspection report with a Summary in this fashion, but the poor condition of the property warranted this passage. This summary is but a snapshot of what was observed, and is in no way complete.
Inspection of the subject property was interesting, if nothing else. We state this due to the poor condition of the property, and the numerous concerns and defects which exist. Many defects were the direct result of deferred maintenance, failure, or neglect, in the Inspector’s opinion. Restaurant was NOT inspected at the request of the Client, though numerous defects and hazards were detected on this (ground) floor, as well.
***[FONT=Verdana]Possibly the largest concern surrounds the numerous recorded violation notices pertaining to the property, issued by the municipality, and provided to Inspector from Client. Some date back several years. Of these notices, the biggest red flag was a request to inspect the ENTIRE premises for health and safety violations by the Municipality. The notice stated that the Municipality was concerned about the habitibility of the premises. This demand to the owner was never complied with, and the notice remains outstanding. Inspector believes that if this municipal inspection is to take place, there are enough health, safety, and building code violations to possibly result in significant fines or perhaps the building being rendered unsuitable for human occupation.***[/FONT]
***Clearly, there is mold present on the third floor, as the ceilings are cracked, wet, and partially collapsed from a defective roof. Structural elements may be compromised. Peeling paint is in abundance on the 2nd and 3rd floors, and this paint may contain lead. Egress is a concern, and windows are defective, broken, or lack safety bars. A fire escape was not present. Sprinklers were not present on the 2nd or 3rd floors. Working bathrooms were not present on the 2nd or 3rd floors, and conditions are therefore unsanitary for humans. Heat was defective on 3rd floor (no working system present). Plumbing was defective. ***
***In the basement, there is such a significant amount of rat feces present to indicate a MAJOR infestation and immediate health concern. An abandoned oil tank remains in the basement. An abandoned oil-fired heating system is present in the basement. What appears to be friable asbestos was seen throughout the basement. This material was literally unwrapped, crumblung, split, and falling off of pipes throughout the entire basement. Additionally, the plaster walls which comprise much of the building interior surfaces may also contain asbestos. As much of these surfaces are cracked or crumbling, this is also a concern. Stairwells lack secure handrails. ***
As rat feces in abundant quantities was discovered in the basement, an infestation of the entire building is a real possibility. Rat feces, hair, saliva, and dander contain disease, including Hanta Virus. A significant health concern exists and warrants immediate attention.
Occupancy certificates do not exist for the 2nd or 3rd floor apartment spaces, according to the Client. Yet, the 2nd floor is occupied. Health and safety concerns are real for any occupants of this space.
Plumbing connections are questionable or poor, and many electrical defects were noted, starting with the main electrical panels (fire hazard).
In many instances, the City of Newburgh calls for a municipal inspection for building code violations upon transfer or sale of properties. Inspector believes that if this were to happen after the Client became the owner of record, the net result may be financially, environmentally, and legally devastating to them.
Again, the number of defects was so significant as to warrant that the present building owner to agree to allow a municipal inspection of the premises prior to sale, and making the contract of sale contingent upon said inspection and repair of those defects noted (at a minimum). There is a real possibility that a municipal inspection of the entire building interior may result in the 2nd floor tenants being evicted and may also result in the restaurant being forced to close until such time as recorded violations are remedied and rat infestation is brought under control.
Due to the abhorrent conditions found, and a continual lack of response from the building’s current owner, condemnation or seizure of the property by the municipality is a (remote) possibility, especially if they discover that upper floors are occupied and unsafe.
Inspector strongly recommends seeking the advice of qualified legal counsel in these and all matters relating to the purchase and lease of the subject property.