IN NEW JERSEY: Hello, when my partner & I purchased our house -- a 3-family -- we bought it as a corporation.
I lived in the house & my apartment has never been rented out to anyone since we purchased the house.
We were in the process of completely gutting my apartment, & it was no longer livable, so I temporarily moved in w/ my sister. The reason we gutted was to get a more accurate estimate from the contractors, as the house is about 130 years old & we were told that sometimes those plaster walls can hide substantial work that the contractor would charge extra for. In other words, we wanted to minimize the surprises.
As a huge unforeseen financial complication, when one of the contractors looked around the basement, he found that the main beam of the building was COMPLETELY SNAPPED!! This explained that the sagging in this old brownstone was due to more than age!
OUR HOME INSPECTOR NEVER MENTIONED A WORD ABOUT THIS, & WHEN WE CALLED HIM, HE SAID THAT HIS CONTRACT STATES HE HAS NO LIABILITY.
We called our homeowner's insurance agent, who sent in an engineer & we were promptly informed that we had 30 days to correct this emergency repair, or we would lose our insurance. WHAT A NIGHTMARE!
To cut this shorter, the huge financial burden this unexpected dilemma cost us was not just in dollars, but in time. This because we no longer had enough funds to do our renovation right away. We were delayed over a year.
In the meanwhile I was sued by a tenant who claimed that the house is not owner-occupied. The Court agreed, stating that because the house is being renovated and owned by a corporation, it cannot be owner-occupied. Is this correct? I lived in the house for over a year before we started gutting it, and no one else has lived there.
1. CAN A HOUSE BE LEGALLY "OWNER OCCUPIED" IF IT IS OWNED BY A CORPORATION WHOSE ONE PARTNER LIVES IN IT?
2. CAN A PERSON TEMPORARILY MOVE OUT OF AN EXTENSIVE RENOVATION & STILL CLAIM THE HOUSE AS "OWNER OCCUPIED"?
Thank you very much for your time.