There are over 100 State, County and City building departments in the Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County Area. Each and everyone has it’s own permitting procenures and municiple code.
Building Permits are required for even the smallest of jobs, such as trimming a tree, all the way up to the multi-million dollar high-rise project. A job, or project, can require from one to even hundreds of building permits depending on the complexity of the project and what agencies are required to approve the project. As a property owner, or even as a contractor, you may acquire a permit for a project from your local South Florida Building Department not knowing that the project may also require additional building permits or approvals from County, State or Federal agencies. Failure to obtain the proper permits can delay a project, or stop it all together, all at a substantial cost to the property owner.
The 2004 Florida Building Code states, “any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.”
The various municipalities and Governmental agencies have different requirements, forms and processes. Failure to follow their procedures, supply the necessary back-up documentation and submit the proper forms will delay the building permit acquisition process. Expect long lines, typical governmental customer service, and if your paper work is improper, a very long day, or days.
The property owner, as an option, is allowed to pull an Owner/Builder permit with restrictions, depending on the type of permit. This is only allowed for the property owner’s primary residence. Commercial property owner’s are not permitted to apply for Owner/Builder permits. In some municipalities the owner may be required to pass a test to prove competency.
Property owners are ultimately liable for permit issues and can have their properties liened by third parties for unresolved monetary issues involving permits. In addition, the property owner can be fined or have their property liened by their local municipality for expired or open permits.