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Old 10-06-2019, 10:47 PM
DummyGladHands is offline
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Security bars on windows - a rental property


Trying to get this building sold. 2 tenants, both about 5 years+ in residence, want the bars. Potential buyer wants bars removed, says neither his lender nor his insurance co. allows them. My lender financed the property with the bars extant, and my insurance co has never said a word, and they did do an onsite inspection.
I don't want to remove the bars, a) because the tenants want them and they are stellar tenants. BTW, the bars are on casement windows FFS. b) because then I have a carpentry/paint/patch nightmare and c) if the sale doesn't go thru (and at this point I have no fucks to give about whether it does or not) I have ticked off tenants and a mess.
So the house is 55 years old, and I do get that new code wouldn't allow it, but I don't know what to do at this point.
  #2  
Old 10-06-2019, 11:04 PM
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Tell the buyer to remove them if he wants to.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:55 PM
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Why would insurance be opposed to bars?
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
Tell the buyer to remove them if he wants to.
Sounds like there won't be a new buyer as long as there are bars on the windows.
If the bank will work with the potential buyer, I'd suggest he has the lender add a clause stating that he'll remove the bars as soon as he takes ownership. In a perfect world, the bank will give him the money based on that and once he takes ownership he can deal with removing (or not removing) them.

Beyond that, if he really wants to buy the place, he might need to talk to a few other lenders and a some other insurance companies, there's probably some lenders/insurers that won't mind.

It might also help if either you or he go and talk to the building and/or fire inspector and ask them if the bars are legal since they were put in place before the code. If they're grandfathered in, the bank and insurer may be okay with them since they're less likely to have to make a payout if they cause a problem (notably, someone getting trapped in the house during a fire) since the city gave you the okay.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:57 PM
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Why would insurance be opposed to bars?
If there's a fire you can't get out through the windows unless the FD shows up and cuts the bars off.
They keep people out, but they also keep them in.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:51 AM
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I'd pass on the sale.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by DummyGladHands View Post
c) if the sale doesn't go thru (and at this point I have no fucks to give about whether it does or not) I have ticked off tenants and a mess.
Can't you wait to remove the bars until you have an iron-clad contract with the buyer? Sure, there is no reason to remove them for a tentative sale that could fall through, but surely there can be a contractual obligation on both sides.

You could also just include it in price negotations - if you don't want to remove the bars, figure out how much it would cost to do so and knock that much off the price.

Of course, if you seriously don't care whether the sale goes through or not, the easiest thing is just to say no.
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  #8  
Old 10-07-2019, 05:28 AM
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Deleted. Already suggested.

Last edited by pullin; 10-07-2019 at 05:30 AM.
  #9  
Old 10-07-2019, 05:45 AM
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If there's a fire you can't get out through the windows unless the FD shows up and cuts the bars off.
They keep people out, but they also keep them in.
Replace them with the kind of bars that can be opened only from the inside. When I lived in NYC, we had them on our windows, and they worked like a charm.
  #10  
Old 10-07-2019, 07:12 AM
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As CairoCarol says why can't you & the buyer agree make the sale conditional upon having the bars removed before closure? It's very common to make property sales conditional upon items being done to address concerns prior to final closure.

An aunt & uncle just sold a rental house. The potential buyer planned to move into the house themselves and didn't want tenants or have to deal with evicting the tenant upon closure (which can take several months).

Like you, my aunt & uncle didn't want to kick out their tenant and risk the sale not happening and be screwed. They discussed it with the tenant who agreed to move out before the closure date (after they agreed to pay him 3 months rent!). They then proposed the conditional sale back to the buyer who built it into into the agreement

So one of the "conditions" spelled out in the contract was that the tenant must be vacated and the house empty at least 7 days prior to closure and the buyer was allowed to enter the property to verify the condition was met.

If not met, the agreement was automatically cancelled and the downpayment must be returned. Since they were confident the tenant would move out, they also agreed to reimburse the buyer for other out-pocket fees if it didn't close (like lawyers fees). That reassured the buyer as well.
  #11  
Old 10-07-2019, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
Replace them with the kind of bars that can be opened only from the inside. When I lived in NYC, we had them on our windows, and they worked like a charm.
I stayed away from that because it doesn't sound like the OP wants to do the work. If they are willing to put the work into it, I'd suggest just taking a few hours one of these days and removing them altogether, as long as the sale is guaranteed after their removal. I wouldn't even bother with repairing the holes and repainting*. Just get them off, complete the sale and walk away. I know they like the tenants and don't want them to be annoyed, but it sounds like it's going to be the quickest way to finish the sale.

The only other thing I can think of is that the buyer could see if the bank/insurance company would be okay with him leaving the bars on until the currant tenants leases are up and removing them then. That might be the easiest way to keep everyone happy.

*Unless removing the bars leaves holes big enough for insects/bugs/weather to get in. Even then, I'd probably just fill them with some caulk or wood putty and call it a day.


One other thing, is the place going to remain a rental? If the new person is considering using it as a single family dwelling, the bars might be able to stay. Codes are a lot stricter for rental.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by GMANCANADA View Post
As CairoCarol says why can't you & the buyer agree make the sale conditional upon having the bars removed before closure? It's very common to make property sales conditional upon items being done to address concerns prior to final closure.

An aunt & uncle just sold a rental house. The potential buyer planned to move into the house themselves and didn't want tenants or have to deal with evicting the tenant upon closure (which can take several months).

Like you, my aunt & uncle didn't want to kick out their tenant and risk the sale not happening and be screwed. They discussed it with the tenant who agreed to move out before the closure date (after they agreed to pay him 3 months rent!). They then proposed the conditional sale back to the buyer who built it into into the agreement

So one of the "conditions" spelled out in the contract was that the tenant must be vacated and the house empty at least 7 days prior to closure and the buyer was allowed to enter the property to verify the condition was met.

If not met, the agreement was automatically cancelled and the downpayment must be returned. Since they were confident the tenant would move out, they also agreed to reimburse the buyer for other out-pocket fees if it didn't close (like lawyers fees). That reassured the buyer as well.
This is all possible, but it doesn't actually eliminate the risk.

Let's say that the contract is written like this, where the OP will remove the bars prior to closing and if things don't close will be paid for the costs incurred. The problem is, what if the closing doesn't go through and the buyer doesn't pay? Then you can try to sue them, etc.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3= View Post
This is all possible, but it doesn't actually eliminate the risk.

Let's say that the contract is written like this, where the OP will remove the bars prior to closing and if things don't close will be paid for the costs incurred. The problem is, what if the closing doesn't go through and the buyer doesn't pay? Then you can try to sue them, etc.
IIRC, in residential real estate purchases at least, there's usually a deposit put down by the buyer when a purchase and sale contract is signed. If the buyer walks away, the seller gets to keep the deposit.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:44 PM
Joey P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3= View Post
This is all possible, but it doesn't actually eliminate the risk.

Let's say that the contract is written like this, where the OP will remove the bars prior to closing and if things don't close will be paid for the costs incurred. The problem is, what if the closing doesn't go through and the buyer doesn't pay? Then you can try to sue them, etc.
I know this just adds another 'what if' to all this, but it could be adjust a bit to account for this. Have the buyer hire someone on their own to remove the bars and make sure that person is paid upfront (so they don't come after the OP if they don't get paid). Then it's the buyer that's out the money either way. The OP could, if they want, knock a few dollars off the price to account for that, but whether the sale goes through or not, the OP didn't have to pony up for the work.

Even if the sale falls through, it's going to be easier to sell without them.
  #15  
Old 10-07-2019, 02:52 PM
enalzi is offline
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Originally Posted by DummyGladHands View Post
Potential buyer wants bars removed, says neither his lender nor his insurance co. allows them.
~snip~
So the house is 55 years old, and I do get that new code wouldn't allow it, but I don't know what to do at this point.
From a lender perspective, if you can't open the bars on windows, that's a safety issue. And no conventional lender is going to lend on it, even with the contingency of have the buyer remove it after closing. It's got to be done prior to close.

And if the lender won't allow it, it doesn't really matter what the buyer wants.
  #16  
Old 10-07-2019, 02:52 PM
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If this buyer is solid, have the bar removal written into the contract. You can write it in as a credit back to the buyer, so they get cash to pay a contractor to do it.
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:35 PM
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@Walrus - I'd agree with Quercus - just build the cost into the deposit requested, Dummy can ask for whatever amount of deposit he wants. If the buyer walks away from the deal they forfeit the deposit. Usually (in Canada) I believe the deposit is held in trust by the seller's lawyer so there won't be any shenanigans by the buyer trying to renege.

If there's a banking / insurance issue on the buyers side that requires removal of the bars, then the date of removal can be set to whatever timeline they require ("within 14 days of deposit being received and not less than 60 days prior to closure"), as long as Dummy's lawyers have the money in trust he's good to go. If they agree to a suitable timeframe prior to closure, then that should give the buyer a long enough time to get their financing & insurance in place.

I think that a perfectly reasonable solution to the Buyer and Dummy's situation. If the buyer won't agree to that kind of arrangement, I'd be very very leery of the buyer.
  #18  
Old 10-07-2019, 07:43 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
IIRC, in residential real estate purchases at least, there's usually a deposit put down by the buyer when a purchase and sale contract is signed. If the buyer walks away, the seller gets to keep the deposit.
This is true but—and I'm just remembering what I was told when I bought a house, which might not be totally accurate everywhere—it's not quite as automatic as you'd think. Because the deposit is returned if the seller bails for some number of justified reasons. Which means I think you still might be holding the bag or in a legal battle over who should be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
I know this just adds another 'what if' to all this, but it could be adjust a bit to account for this. Have the buyer hire someone on their own to remove the bars and make sure that person is paid upfront (so they don't come after the OP if they don't get paid). Then it's the buyer that's out the money either way. The OP could, if they want, knock a few dollars off the price to account for that, but whether the sale goes through or not, the OP didn't have to pony up for the work.
And hope the guy the buyer hires doesn't do more damage in the process.

None of this is to say that you shouldn't do those things, or that they're not good ideas to manage risk. And it's probably worth removing the bars if the buyer/bank seems serious. But there is still some risk that doesn't go away.
  #19  
Old 10-07-2019, 08:41 PM
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I'm curious about one thing: most casement windows open towards the outside. Are the bars inside the window or something? Or do the windows not actually open? Maybe the bars stick out more like a cage to allow the windows to open? Like I said, just curiosity.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
I'm curious about one thing: most casement windows open towards the outside. Are the bars inside the window or something? Or do the windows not actually open? Maybe the bars stick out more like a cage to allow the windows to open? Like I said, just curiosity.
Yes, that's what they like. The windows open about 5" but no one gets in.

All for naught. Buyer must have figured it out, BINSER was accepted, and we move on. Thanks for help
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