Today’s question comes from Atisha in Philadelphia.

I was blind-sided with the news that my recently bought two-family home is legally a SINGLE FAMILY dwelling.

I closed on the home in November of last year. It appraised for $300,000. I live in one unit and rent out the other on a short-term basis on Airbnb.

I now have to obtain a Limited Lodging License in order to continue renting on Airbnb. I went through the process in order to do so and was blind-sided at the L&I office with the news that the property I bought is not actually a multi-family home, but a single family home.

The seller applied for RM1 classification but never obtained any permits to do the work of flipping the home from single-family to multi-family. All of the work that the seller did to the property was done ILLEGALLY, without any approval or permits. I went through the process of purchasing this home; having extensive credit checks done on me, paying for home inspections, paying for appraisals and expecting the utmost due diligence from my lenders, the appraiser they hired, my title company and realtor.

Now, I am here today with the information that there was fraud somewhere along the line and I now cannot LEGALLY rent out my home for the purpose it was purchased.

I am kindly asking for your advice on what steps I need to take moving forward. I am in need of an attorney who will be able to fight on my behalf.

Atisha, I’m sorry to hear about your troubles. First of all, I’m not a lawyer and I don’t want to be in the role of providing legal advice. I can make an introduction to two lawyers in the Philadelphia are who I would trust to help you with issues of this sort.


Host: Victor Menasce