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Building Without a valid permit: What to Do When You Receive an Order to Comply

It is important to understand the consequences of building without a valid building permit. If you have undertaken construction without permission, you may receive an order to comply from the local authorities. In this blog post, we will explain what happens when you receive an order to comply and what you can do to ensure that your project is completed in compliance with building regulations.


Building Without a valid permit:  What to Do When You  Receive an Order to Comply

What is an order to comply and why it is issued


An order to comply is a legal document issued by local authorities to individuals or organizations who have undertaken construction without obtaining the necessary building permits. It is a serious consequence that serves as a reminder to follow the rules and regulations outlined by the government.


An order to comply is issued to ensure that construction projects are in compliance with the building codes and regulations set forth by the local jurisdiction. It is important to obtain a building permit before beginning any construction to ensure that the project meets safety standards and is in accordance with the law.


When a project is carried out without a building permit, it can lead to a variety of problems, including unsafe conditions, lack of oversight, and potential legal issues. Authorities issue orders to comply to rectify these issues and bring the construction project back into compliance with the law.


Ignoring an order to comply can have serious legal ramifications. Individuals or organizations may face fines, penalties, or even be required to remove or demolish unauthorized construction. It is important to take immediate action upon receiving an order to comply to avoid further legal consequences.


To ensure that your project is completed in compliance with building regulations, it is advisable to seek the assistance of professionals such as architects, and building permit companies experienced in navigating the process of obtaining building permits. They can help with tasks such as preparing building permit drawings, filling out the building permit application, and ensuring that the project meets the requirements of the Ontario Building Code or the applicable local regulations.


Understanding the Potential Legal Ramifications of Ignoring an Order to Comply


Ignoring an order to comply can have serious legal ramifications. It is not a situation that should be taken lightly or ignored. By disregarding an order to comply, you are essentially choosing to operate outside the law, and this can result in severe penalties.

One of the potential legal ramifications of ignoring an order to comply is facing fines or penalties imposed by the local authorities. These penalties can be significant and can escalate the longer the unauthorized construction remains in place. In some cases, the fines may increase on a daily basis until the issue is rectified.


In addition to financial consequences, ignoring an order to comply may also lead to legal action. Local authorities have the power to take legal action against individuals or organizations that fail to comply with the order. This can result in costly legal battles.


In some cases, individuals or organizations may be required to remove or demolish the unauthorized construction at their own expense. This can be a devastating blow, not only financially but also in terms of time and effort invested in the project.


Steps to Take After Receiving an Order to Comply


After receiving an order to comply with a building without a valid permit, it is important to take immediate action to rectify the situation and avoid further legal consequences. Here are the steps you should take:


1. Review the order: Carefully read through the order to understand the specific violations and requirements outlined by the local authorities. Take note of any deadlines or instructions provided.


2. Seek professional guidance: Contact professionals such as architects, building permit companies, or contractors experienced in obtaining permits and complying with building regulations. They can provide valuable advice and assist you in understanding the necessary steps to bring your construction project into compliance.


3. Prepare necessary documentation: Gather any relevant documents, such as building plans, drawings, or specifications. These will be needed to apply for a building permit. Work with professionals to prepare accurate and detailed building permit drawings and complete the building permit application.


4. Submit the building permit application: Follow the instructions provided by the local authorities to submit the building permit application. Include all required documents and pay any applicable fees. Make sure to adhere to any specific guidelines or deadlines provided.


5. Address the violations: Begin taking steps to address the violations outlined in the order to comply. This may involve modifying or removing unauthorized construction, bringing the project up to code, or making necessary repairs. Consult with professionals to ensure that the required changes are made properly and in compliance with building regulations.

6. Schedule inspections: Coordinate with the local authorities to schedule necessary inspections. These inspections are crucial to ensure that the construction project is being carried out in compliance with the approved plans and building codes.


7. Maintain open communication: Keep an open line of communication with your inspector throughout the project. Discuss any questions or concerns, and promptly address any issues that arise during the inspection process.


Hiring a Professional to Assist with Obtaining Permits and Compliance


When dealing with an order to comply with a building without a valid permit, hiring a professional can be invaluable. Architects, building permit companies, or experienced contractors can guide you through the process of obtaining permits and ensuring compliance with building regulations.


These professionals have extensive knowledge and experience in navigating the complex permitting process. They can assist you in understanding the necessary steps to bring your construction project into compliance. They will help you gather the required documentation, prepare accurate building permit drawings, and complete the building permit application.

Working with professionals can also ensure that the necessary changes to your project are made correctly and in compliance with building codes. They have the expertise to address the violations outlined in the order to comply and can assist you in modifying unauthorized construction.


How to obtain a building permit and bring your construction project up to code


Obtaining a building permit and ensuring that your construction project is up to code is crucial after receiving an order to comply. Here are the steps to take:


1. Determine the necessary permits: Research the specific permits required for your project based on the type of construction and location. Contact the local building department to inquire about the required permits and any additional documentation needed.


2. Prepare documentation: Gather all the necessary documentation for your building permit application. This may include building plans, specifications, site surveys, and proof of insurance. Make sure all documents are accurate and complete.


3. Complete the building permit application: Fill out the building permit application form thoroughly and accurately. Provide all the required information, including project details, materials, and estimated construction costs. Pay any applicable fees.


4. Submit the application: Submit your completed application, along with all required documentation and fees, to the local building department. Follow their instructions for submission methods, such as in-person, by mail, or online.


5. Wait for review and approval: The building department will review your application to ensure compliance with building codes and regulations. This process may take several weeks. Be patient and prepared to address any issues or modifications requested by the department.


6. Obtain the building permit: Once your application is approved, you will receive your building permit. This document allows you to proceed with your construction project legally.


7. Begin construction: Start your construction project, ensuring that all work is carried out in accordance with the approved plans and building codes. Adhere to any specific requirements or guidelines set by the building department.


By following these steps and working closely with the local building department, you can obtain the necessary building permit and bring your construction project up to code. This will ensure that your project is in compliance with regulations and help you avoid further legal consequences.


Schedule inspections and keep an open conversation with your inspector


Once you have obtained the necessary building permits and started your construction project, it is crucial to schedule inspections and maintain an open conversation with your inspector throughout the process. Inspections are an essential part of ensuring that your project is being carried out in compliance with the approved plans and building codes.

During the inspection process, your inspector will visit your construction site at various stages to assess the work and ensure it meets safety standards. They will check for proper installation of structural components, electrical and plumbing systems, fire safety measures, and other important aspects of the construction.


It is important to schedule inspections in advance and coordinate with your inspector to ensure that they are able to visit the site when needed. This will help prevent delays in the construction process and ensure that any issues or violations are addressed promptly.


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The content provided above is intended solely for informational and reference purposes. It is crucial to consult your local municipality's building permit department for accurate and specific information pertaining to your circumstances.

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