Q:

Hi there. My fiancé and I are under contract to buy a home in West Deptford, New Jersey. The home inspector came in, inspected the home and he pointed out that the finished basement may not pass the townships code. The bases is about roughly 6 foot 3 or 4 inches from the floor to the ceiling. The seller didn’t include this information in the description of the house. It’s a buy AS-IS. When i did research I noticed the minimum height is 7 feet. Do you know/have any idea what are consequences for this home to not have a permit for this basement if it was finished without the townships consent and it’s being under the ceiling height code? Also would this not allow us to be able to move into the home until we meet the ceiling height code?

Sorry for so many questions! Thank you again!

Larry R.
West Deptford, NJ

A:Thank you for your submission. The decision to issue a certificate of occupancy would be based on your Township. We have finished basements in the past where the ceiling height is less than 84 inches. Some townships allow you to apply for a variance while other townships call it a finished storage space.

Regarding the finished basement being done without a permit, this goes back to the Townnship as well. The actions the townships take vary widely from Township to Township. Some townships only require the necessary corrections be made to the basement after applying for a permit. Other townships will require the dismantling of the basement and a complete rebuild.