In our inbox this morning:

I have very good sources that tell me my neighbor, a landlord, is in the initial stages of trying to build an illegal apartment in the SFH next door. It will be camouflaged by a permitted “renovation” to this SFH.

The last thing we want is non-permitted gas lines, shoddy electrical work, etc, in a unit attached to ours.

It is zoned for two-family, but he has not gone through the permitting process to create a second unit. What’s the best way readers suggest I go about addressing this? Call the owner directly, warn the city. We want to nip it in the bud, as I believe the city won’t bother to make him reverse the work once complete.


62 thoughts on “What’s The Right Way To Rat Out A Neighbor And Report Illegal Work?”
  1. I’ve got no ideas on how to rat that landlord out and it could backfire if that landlord is clever enough to make the floorplan ambiguous enough that it could be interpreted as a single unit with an extra kitchen.
    However it is a little bit of a stretch to assume that the work will be shoddy. The landlord did pull permits, right? So the work will be inspected to the extent that any other permitted job is. And if there’s concern that pipes and wires will be reconfigured post-inspection, well that happens on jobs that aren’t creating an umpermitted in-law unit too. So there’s a lot of ratting out to go around.
    It sounds like the whistle blower has a problem with the neighboring landlord and is using safety as excuse to escalate their issue.

    1. My neighbor has been Remodeling the Entire inside of his home for 2 months now, BANG, SAW, Drill….NO permits pulled whatsoever. 2 problems, he works for the City, and he’s a violent alcoholic, so any tattling that isn’t 100% anonymous would be problematic for us. As a city worker he’s got ways of finding out who is ratting out his illegal work.

      When we complained a few years back about the illegal apartment he built, the City gave up trying to contact him after 2 visits to the home. When I asked WHY they never followed up, they never called back or replied to my 3 emails, including one to the Dept head.

  2. Good God man it’s your god given right to make every man, woman and child go through planning and permitting purgatory in SF.
    Who do those people think they are? Are they better than the rest of us?
    I would dawn my bullet proof vest and walk right up to that owner/landlord and point my finger in his face with proper righteous indignation and say…Get thee to planning purgatory now you scofflaw. Thee must endure the tortures of being raked over the hot coals of the planning and permitting politburo. It is in the interest of the commons to adhere to thee rules of law.
    If thee do not comply then thee must endure the public display of being publicly humiliated in the public square… being stripped naked…..Oh wait…didn’t they just make that illegal?

  3. Two of the most ridiculous comments I have heard in a long time. The first one is, at least, intelligent. But it’s not at all unreasonable to assume that the work MAY be shoddy, given the information stated.
    The second comment is a waste of time.
    As to what to do: The complainant has already stated that the “neighbor” has NOT gone thru the planning process. Contact the Planning and Building dept, with the address, lot and block number. File a complaint about the lack of legal process required. There should be a 311/312 notice that MUST go out to adjacent property owners and renters. Follow up with phone calls, emails and letters. For a small fee, you can also file a Discretionary Review (DR) for further scrutiny.
    And MOD: it’s not called “ratting out”. It’s called being responsible.

    1. lmao. Where in the world do you have so much free time to make comments. I’m sick in bed for the week, other than that, I NEVER have ime to to look into, respond, comply, complain about ANTHING.

      My life is busy. I have found to be successful and productive as a good citizen, volunteering my free time to those who may need help, I do not have time to JUDGE my neighbor. Keeping up with my own life, kid’s, family , friends, is way more than I can do at times. Keep your own life in order and let others do the best they can to keep order in theirs. You have wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy to much free time to cause harm to others.

      Make sure your own family, kids, siblings, parents, are choosing to follow the rules and before you take time to check on neighbors. You may be surprised that they may be cutting corners too. Just a thought for you.

  4. What futurist said. And I don’t think it is at all unreasonable to assume that since the landlord is going about the remodeling in an illegal way, that they’ll also try and cut every possible corner and thereby ensure shoddy work gets done.
    I don’t have any data to back this up other than experience. The people who think that renting out an unwarranted unit is okay, because their personal greed somehow outweighs the right of tenants and the general public to safe and code-complaint accommodations, can also convince themselves that substandard work is okay. It’s the same self-satisfied mindset.
    I’d file the complaint form that Michael links to. And by all means drop by socketsite in the future and tell us how long DBI took to send out an inspector.

    1. He filed for Renovation” Permit, which will require inspection by certified professional Inspectors. Ok, so he may have cut corners to save money for the “Labeling” for Permit. But all necessary inspections will be completed. What’s the problem here. It will be inspected.

      There is no problem. He may have unintentionally used wording for permit. Maybe he is from out of the country and was unaware you had to be specific on wording to be permitted.? Maybe.

      Go play Golf or something. Go volunteer or something to help people les fortunate than yourself.

      1. If you look at it from another perspective you may understand why people get involved and why they are legally allowed to get involved.

        Someone bought a 2 bedroom home on our block and got permits for a large addition to create a total of 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. While this is a large project, most neighbors did not complain when the 311 notice went out, most likely due to an unwillingness to get involved. 18 months later it has turned into a 14 bedroom group housing for college students. The owner did not wait for permits to be issued and built the home without any resistance.

        The block is suffering from the change and it happened because no one, including building inspectors seemed to care. Now that awareness has been raised, all of his permits were suspended by the planning department. Building inspectors are being asked why they didn’t catch this.

        The neighborhood now has the opportunity to dispute his permit applications and prove why we don’t want a 14 bedroom group house on the block. It brings an element to the area that was not here before including endless non-residents over time, increased security concerns, crime, noise, parking, the list is long.

        Zoning and planning are in place to address this exactly, and when contractors or property owners bypass the process it should be a concern to everyone. Someone will pop that bubble you are living in if you don’t defend it.

    1. Not saying you said it but also getting he said she said info about if it’s just an addition or actually a convert to a extra rentable space doesn’t mean the work will be shoddy. Especially when he pulls permits for what he says he’s doing what do you really think he’s gonna do the work to have the inspector tell him to pull it all out and fix it there is more than one inspection every time. So all I hear is basically people being nosey when they dont have actual facts

  5. While agreeing that one should not construct a unit without the necessary permits/planning approval, I think everyone should also note that the supposition that the landlord is building this unit is just a rumor at this time. Neighbors in SF have a bad habit of complaining any time construction is initiated if only because they don’t like the noise and/or disruption. I had this problem with a kitchen and bathroom renovation that got so bad that the DBI eventually ignored all future complaints from this neighbor.
    If one takes the original e-mail at its’ face, the construction of the unit will be camouflaged as a permitted renovation. So at this point, I think the DBI is going to have trouble with a complaint that states that “I think they are planning to build an unpermitted unit” just as they would have trouble with any other unsubstantiated rumor without physical evidence.

  6. Use the DBI link and either file an anonymous complaint online or over the phone. DBI will send an inspector out within a couple of days; if it’s above-board, they’ll clear the complaint and move along.
    It happened to us when we remodeled our house back in 2004 — a neighbor complained that we were illegally running a business out of our garage (um, no, that was the asbestos-removal company removing the furnace and ductwork). DBI inspector came out, checked plans and permits, and abated the complaint that day.

  7. Yes indeed, there are reasons for building codes and compliance…look no further than the 200+ lives lost in the club fires last weekend.

  8. Expecting a neighbor to comply with the law doesn’t make anyone a “rat”.
    Neither does ratting someone out (“to inform the authorities about someone”), but it does make for good alliteration with “right” and should not be confused with being a ratfink.

  9. I’m with Guest666. Sounds like all there is at this point is a rumour, but the only facts on hand are that the work is being done with a permit.
    I suggest checking what permits have been pulled on the property. You can find existing permits here:
    If you see work going on that is not within the scope of the work then file a complaint. If you file complaints before there is any violation, then they might not take further complaints seriously.
    You might also want to contact the owner directly, and inform them about the rumor and tell them that if it turns out to be true you would report the violation, but it can get a little gnarly if you personally contact them.
    As MoD pointed out, if they have permits, the inspector is going to inspect everything.
    If they intend to run illegal gas lines / electrical / plumbin it will be after the existing permits are completed, but it also possible they will do the work to code, but just not as a legal unit. You can get very close to a legal unit and still keep everything within code. Almost the only thing they can’t do is add a separate entrance and full kitchen.
    Here’s two useful links to let you know the process and what is / isn’t allowed (assuming it’s an expansion downward):

  10. Folks, the creation of an unpermitted apartment is just a rumor right now. And it is pretty easy to design an ambiguous floorplan that could go either way.
    Permits were pulled so DBI has already reviewed this project. Don’t you think that DBI would have have flagged a planning violation if the plans indicated conclusively that a new unit was being created?
    Of course it is possible that the project sponsor builds something other than what the blueprints submitted to DBI indicate. In that case of course they are violating the process and they can expect to be fined.
    And if being cost sensitive drives people to cut corners that could create a safety problem, then every project in the city falls into this category and requires more scrutiny.
    I do not believe that there are any additional safety risks here above the risks of any permitted and inspected project. The original poster’s cited concern about safety sounds so much like a “think of the children!” cry when they’re really concerned about something much less severe. Kind of like the NIMBYs who complain of loss of light and air when they’re really concerned about losing a view or having a harder time finding street parking.
    Safety is important but in this situation any claim of a safety problem is pure speculation.
    If this landlord is cheating and using an ambiguous floorplan then the only reliable way to nail him/her is to wait until after the illegal unit is actually occupied and then bust them. It would be a lot easier to prove that the residents are unrelated and paying rent separately.

  11. informing the authorities = RAT where i grew up. sounds like the person has beef with the landlord and this is that person’s attempt at payback.

  12. You have be really self-aware and take a hard look at what you really want. Is this fellow’s work lessening the value of your property, or are you just a whiny statist lefty who believes all regulations must be obeyed? If you’re the former then rat on the guy; if you’re the latter, you’ll get the blowback that you deserve.

  13. I encourage people who are reasonable to take a gander at the MLS and look at all the buildings that are for sale with blatantly illegal (and yes, mostly disclosed as illegal, or “unwarranted” to use the preferred real estate euphemism) units and garage conversions that are for sale. This is a problem of epidemic proportions, and it’s only getting worse, although I don’t have year-over-year data to back that up at hand.
    What that tells me is that waiting until the illegal unit is actually occupied and the slumlord is reaping ill-gotten gains is too late to serve as an effective deterrent.

  14. I agree with the commenters that say to lodge a complaint with DBI, but my next thought is “don’t hold your breath.”
    We are still wrangling over a neighboring house that was bought by a contractor who started to gut and remodel the whole thing (including the foundation) with minimal permits. After 2 complaints they did file permits, but they lied on the plans, saying the 10 foot addition they added was “existing.” The DBI inspector was useless – never got into the site to see the illegal work they were doing, and even after we showed proof of the deception to the DBI folks – including the head of building inspection – they took no action!! And these are not NIMBY issues – they actually took down the neighbors fence and built an unpermitted addition over the property line! In the end the only way we got them to change was to appeal their permits so that they had to stop all work, and they had to negotiate with the neighbors. But this took a tremendous amount of work, and it’s still not over.
    And on top of it all, I’m positive they will turn the ground floor into an illegal inlaw, but have no idea how to stop that in advance.

  15. Brahma,
    The problem may be of epidemic proportions, but I don’t believe it is getting worse. It’s just with the heightened litigation surrounding undisclosed issues you are seeing much more disclosure of illegal (unwarranted) additions or remodels. If I look around my neighborhood, I see a variety of “renovations” that span much of the last 50 years with the majority of those “renovations” being illegal. I would guess that most of those in my neighborhood were undertaken in the 50 & 60’s rather than the last decade.

  16. For those of you that think permitted work means its automatically safer or actually competently inspected, think again. Arbitrary incompetence at DBI reins supreme. Sure it’s probably better than no inspections, but not by much. Most builders spend way too much time playing cat and mouse with DBI, jumping through obscure hoops, than focusing on building quality. And even with inspectins, there is almost always unprmitted work to avoid clusterf*cks such as DBI and planning contradicting each other, etc.
    So unless you really have a strong reason to believe they are creating a dangerous situation, I’d let laying dogs sleep. IMO snitching is only for obvious and flagrant situations; or join the merriment and try your hand at extortion;) Not that this city doesn’t do this…condo bypass fees, anyone?

  17. I totally understand the desire not to want to have unsafe work done, fire safety is a huge issue, but I’m sure the owner doesn’t really want to lose their investment to fire so I seriously doubt the work will be shoddy.
    Doing work without permits doesn’t mean anyone is trying to do something unsafely.
    Case in point, when we did renovations on our house with OTC permits, we met our neighbors next door who had started interior renovations without permits. They did this because they discovered their house had had un-permitted work done to it in the past by the previous owners. They didn’t want their renovations to get delayed by having to remove the previous owner’s work so they did the work they wanted without permits so as not to invite scrutiny and to keep everything on schedule, delays are super expensive. Since they were living there, they had no desire to have anything done shoddily.
    Since we did all our work with permits and were subject to inspections, we gave them plenty of warning as to when our inspections were scheduled so they could prepare as needed.
    A different neighbor (not sure which) decided to rat them out so in the end they did have to get a permit for their work but fortunately were able to get an exclusion for the previous owner’s work. Personally, I thought it was kind of scummy of the neighbor.
    Just my 2 cents.

  18. oscar, where did you grow up? (“informing the authorities = RAT”)
    reporting crimes and violations is called responsible citizenship where I grew up
    let’s not perpetuate the thug culture!

    1. What crime is being committed needing to be reported? Permits were pulled for the work that is being reported and that work is being inspected but because this neighbor heard through the grape vine that he’s actually doing this it’s a crime I thought it was innocent till proven guilty not the other way around

  19. Sure you can choose to trust the wisdom of your neighbor and his instinct for self-preservation.
    A few caveats:
    – Someone who wants to save money by skipping permits and safety inspections is also likely to take other shortcuts.
    – If you trust the neighbor for the simple fact that he has a vested interest in doing things right, is he doing the work for a resale? These days of multiple overbids, some giddy buyers will forgo contingencies and will not even have an inspection. It’s the perfect environment for crooks.
    – There are many different standards of work, yet only one standard of inspection: by the book. There are too many hacks out there who think what they are doing is correct.
    It’s a pain to have to comply to rules, we get it. And things could be streamlined a bit. But people, like companies, are not set up to self-regulate. That didn’t work out for Countrywide or AIG, etc…
    You often understand the real consequences of your actions only when it’s too late. Like the case of 149 Mangels. If you can’t afford to properly fix the property you just bought, then you couldn’t afford that property in the first place period.

  20. @futurist
    Sheepel…..Bhaaaaaa Building inspection department personal in SF are incompetent at best and corrupt at worst.
    DBI is a self perpetuating money machine for civil service employment. It’s not about protecting the public it’s about keeping their jobs.

  21. Wow, I had to double check the URL when I read the Umustcomply post. I really thought I had unknowingly jumped into the comments section of

  22. lol – In this case the owner did pull permits.
    But in general I agree you cannot rely that an owner is looking out for their own best interest when doing unpermitted work. DIY work is especially susceptible to shoddy results when naive owners get in over their heads. Anyone with a credit card can shop for tools and building materials but using them properly requires a lot more knowledge and skill.
    In the case referenced by this article the owner might be creating a new apartment on the sly, but he’s doing it with DBI oversight. It is a planning issue, not a building code problem.

  23. Remarking that “DIY work is especially susceptible to shoddy results when naive owners get in over their heads” is tacitly granting the benefit of the doubt to the owner/flipper/illegal unit constructor. In my experience, this charity isn’t at all deserved, because it doesn’t recognize the underlying motivation of untrammeled greed.
    I’d love to see a study (hah!), but I’d bet a significant amount that most of these people are doing the work with the express intention of doing what is cheapest, even if they know what they are doing. Then they sell it to some sucker who doesn’t know what he’s in for and doesn’t discount the selling price to account for the fact that he will probably have to correct illegal work.
    And when they produce something that they know ahead of time will result in something either unsafe or will only temporarily hide a major problem (e.g., interior water intrusion that only produces visible evidence during a major rainstorm), they self-justify it by denigrating the personnel at DBI(e.g., “…building inspection department personal in SF are incompetent…” or by telling themselves that because they are an objectivist or libertarian, they get to decide what laws they will or will not adhere to, and anyone who disagrees is “just a whiny statist lefty”.
    People who think like this are immune to reason, you have to hit them in the pocketbook to effect their behavior. I wish the Board of Supervisors would take the necessary steps, but of course they need money for their re-election campaigns, so they won’t crack down.

  24. Oh I don’t doubt that there are people who are criminally underbuilding in order to save cash but in my experience that happens more often with professional contractors than DIYers. Even with inspections.
    I’ve been involved in a fair share of DIY projects with friends as both a peer reviewer and a helper. In none of those cases were my friends trying to cut corners on materials and methods. Quite the opposite: usually they wanted higher quality results. One guy in particular has a habit of over-engineering to the point where he’s paying 1.5-2X more on materials and time. I whine about the extra work but at least extra beer is supplied in return. And yes, we’re adhering to code. About half the projects are permitted and that half are the largest of the projects. So about 80% of the work total was done with inspections.
    Maybe my experience is colored since this group of friends has a lot of relevant professional engineering and construction experience. I know for sure that not all DIYers are so diligent as just visiting a few open houses will reveal. Aside from the homeowners who get over their head there’s another menace of willful but incompetent idiots who just assume that they know what to do and go through the motions without ever learning the building code or checking that their work is correct. If it looks right, it must be so, right? I call that Cargo Cult Construction.

  25. Golden Rule Answer: Muster your courage to do the right thing and speak with the owner directly about what he is doing. If his work will negatively impact you, try to work out a mutually agreeable solution. Invoking the City is a last-resort and will only create permanent ill-will. Life is long and who needs enemies in close proximity.

  26. I would not hesitate FIRST to talk to the neighbor proposing to do the work; and I would ask them upfront to make sure and apply for a PERMIT.
    Because if they don’t, I will report the project.
    ALL renovations, per the regulations stated, need a permit. Some permits are simple, Some are complex.Some are over the counter. Some are not. That’s the way it is. Deal with it.
    And those who do not secure permits, claiming simple “diy” work are called cheaters, sliders and sneaky.
    DIY, in my book, generally means shoddy, cheap, poorly designed and poorly executed work.

  27. What Rome is Burning said. They are your neighbors fercrissakes! You should be neighborly to them. Step back a second and think about whether anything they are doing will really affect your quality of life. If it won’t, just offer to give them a hand with their illegal renovation. If it will, then man up and say something to them directly. Unless they are some kind of violent asshole, there is no harm in having a civil conversation.
    But from what I read here, there is no real reason to care what they do.

  28. Hey Jack: What’s with this “man up” kind of talk? Who says that?
    Guess what? This is San Francisco. We all live in close proximity and what they may be doing “illegally” does, in fact, affect all of us.
    Houses burn down. Crappy additions get put up that deprives others of open space, light and fresh air in rear yards. Illegal units can cram in more people to a neighborhood with more cars, less parking.
    Yea, lots of reasons to care what they do.
    How long have you lived here?

  29. Here is a crazy idea, try talking to your neighbor about it. Open communication is always the best first step, and is a “neighborly” thing to do.

  30. FWIW, the notion that if you pull a permit you will only do work that is up to code and legal is simply wrong. I’ve seen plenty of rehab projects that were dressed up for inspection, and converted after sign off from DBI – for example, a “powder room” with a disallowed shower stall hidden behind a wall of sheet rock. Inspector signs off, contractor knocks down the sheet rock, and *voila* we have an illegal full bath, with the appearance of being permitted and approved by the city.
    And as for “just offer to give them a hand with their illegal renovation” as my teenager would say, ROTFLMFAO. Yeah, that should reassure the OP that the wiring and gas lines will be done correctly and there will be no safety issues.

  31. Couple of things on this.
    The owner obtained permits for the work. If they want to convert the space to a legal unit later, and get the proper permits to do so, good for them and good for the city, we need the extra housing. If they create an illegal unit out of the space, then report them. Doing anything now, while PERMITTED work is in progress seems counterproductive and not neighborly.
    DBI and Planning is a huge bureaucracy. Many things take forever to do and have no basis in any way.
    Many “renovations” that require a permit in SF do not require one in other jurisdictions, thus increasing the number of “unpermitted” renovations. example: why do I need to obtain a permit to replace a kitchen cabinet (let’s say wall cabinet w/o any electrical or plumbing work)? In SF you do. There are many other similar wrongheaded requirements.

  32. The only reason I can see for require permits for wall cabinet installation is to check that the top rail is properly anchored into the wall. I could see one of the “willful idiots” I described earlier going to Ikea for cabinets and then using shallow unanchored screws into sheetrock to attach the top rail. The cabinets might not fall before the handyman has left the scene. They might wait until after being loaded up with China, bottles of olive oil, puts and pans, etc. which would make a delightful cacophonous mess once gravity whispers the word.
    A great example of a job that is easy for someone of limited experience to do right, yet can be done terribly wrong by a fool

  33. @TMOD: You’re right. Like trip-wire cabinetry, sometimes trees are dangerous too. Most kids can climb them, but sometimes a few kids fall, once gravity whispers the word.
    We should require everyone to get a permit before planting a tree, right? So that the city can inspect the tree and make sure it is safe?
    Oh wait, we already do.

  34. There are many mistakes that can be made in life and in construction, however it does not mean that every step should be checked.
    Either way the inspector will not check to see if the screws are screwed into studs, it will not happen.

  35. Pulling permits and then buildling something different is an especially risky thing to, since the DBI will have your plans on file for all the world to see.
    When you sell that building, as part of the disclosures you have to check a box indicating that you were aware that unpermitted work was done; if you choose to hide this at selling time, it is a simple matter for the eventual buyer to prove otherwise using the DBIs records. That would be a relatively straightforward lawsuit, or at a minimum cost you $$$ to settle longer after you though you had sold the property…
    If you really want to do unpermitted work, you might be better off doing it without filing anything at all with the city. Then you might at least plausibly claim that ‘it was that way when I bought it’…

  36. “If you really want to do unpermitted work, you might be better off doing it without filing anything at all with the city. Then you might at least plausibly claim that ‘it was that way when I bought it’…”
    … which also has its perils. Suppose a homeowner hires a contractor to do unpermitted work, sells then house claiming that no such work was done, then the house burns down after sold. The new owner could investigate and find out the truth whether by interviewing neighbors or perhaps forensic evidence of parts or materials that were only manufactured after you bought the house.
    Sad to have your home destroyed but it is a nice consolation to be able to sue for damages.

  37. Wow. Ditto what Jack said. I can’t believe the person that posted this (a) is seriously afraid that her neighbor adding an illegal unit will cause her house to fall in, flood or catch fire and (b) if she truly is worried (which seems a bit insane), why she would even consider going to the City with a complaint rather than just talking to her neighbor?
    I know my neighbor is building an illegal unit next door. I could care less.

  38. I hope the concerned neighbor has everything up to code in their place. In fact maybe they should have their neighbors contractor who is apparently doing work WITH permits, go through their house or better yet call DBI to have them come out and confirm that there is nothing illegal or unsafe at their home.
    Remember no matter who did the illegal work you, the current owner is responsible for fixing it and making it code compliant. We wouldn’t want those 30 year old non permitted replacement copper pipes to leak…..

  39. it sounds like the underlying concern is the neighbor not wanting a second living unit built next door. They will be SOL if it’s already zoned for multi. Go ahead and report the Landlord. The conversion will happen anyway. with permits.

  40. Does NOT matter if the zoning is multi-family. That requires off-street parking for each unit.
    And guess what? no off-street parking means the existing parking spaces get even more in demand for those who already live in the neighborhood

  41. For those of you that think permitted work means its automatically safer or actually competently inspected, think again. Arbitrary incompetence at DBI reins supreme.
    48yo hipster is right. When DBI came to inspect the work at my place, they didn’t do jack. The plumbing inspector didn’t even want to come up. He was willing to sign off on the permit on his car parked outside. The only reason he came in is because that’s where the permit was.
    When the electrical inspector came by, he was a little peeved that the drywall was up, but when my electrician explained that we didn’t take down existing drywall (only added a few outlets), he said fine and didn’t even try to look or ask any questions.
    When the building inspector came by, he took a look, didn’t even look at how cabinets were mounted, and signed off on the permit right away. He was in and out in about 2 minutes.
    Don’t get me started on the conflicting info about code I received from various inspectors.
    The only reason I can see for require permits for wall cabinet installation is to check that the top rail is properly anchored into the wall.
    Perhaps DBI should require permits for wall mounted shelves as well. I added some open shelves to a section of wall without wall cabinets. I asked DBI about it, they said no permit required. I asked how that was different from cabinets. It just is.
    I understand that the line has to be drawn somewhere, but some of the rules are totally arbitrary. Couple that with inspectors who really don’t give a shit and you end up with a bureaucracy that is frustrating as hell, except to those who can profit off of it (licensed contractors and such).

  42. Bad construction should be reported. But I have an issue with being a “rat,” which this person is.
    He’s got his and he wants the drawbridge pulled up right away. This is conservatism at its zenith.
    SF has become a very conservative city….”DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING!” Make the rules of compliance nearly impossible and voila, you’ve got. I promise you, this city will be rich only in another generation. As your rent-controlled apartment tenant dies or is paid off, only the very wealthy will be able to afford housing. When the demand is 2x the supply, what do you think happens. I have made peace with this reality. I became exhausted being an angry, angry progressive.

  43. Bad construction should be reported. But I have an issue with being a “rat,” which this person is.
    He’s got his and he wants the drawbridge pulled up right away. This is conservatism at its zenith.
    SF has become a very conservative city….”DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING!” Make the rules of compliance nearly impossible and voila, you’ve got. I promise you, this city will be rich only in another generation. As your rent-controlled apartment tenant dies or is paid off, only the very wealthy will be able to afford housing. When the demand is 2x the supply, what do you think happens? I have made peace with this reality. I became exhausted being an angry, angry progressive.

  44. the home at 106 se. third st. cape coral fl. has built an addition on their back side of home with electric. might be growing weed.pretty sure they didn’t get permits.??? concerned citizen.

  45. Never rat on your neighbor. You don’t know what lies he or she was told by a realty salesperson in order to make a sale and now your neighbor can’t pay all the expenses. Hey, never buy a house, too costly these days. Do not rat. There are “extra” units in every block, town, village, city, state and country on this planet. Do not interfere with what someone wants to do in their own castle, sounds like some people have too much time on their hands and want to play neighborhood batman no it all, leave the people alone, do not rat, it is a sin and will come back to you, in many cases it is extortion and blackmail for example when a handyman wants to weasel extra monies out of a senior, they make up fake stories and rat, hoping that something like a battery is weak in a smoke detector, and then the owner will get a nice little fine, to punish them from not coughing up more money to the unlicensed handyman, so don’t rat, a rat is a rat and rats are vermin.

  46. Concerned citizen. I will stand by The milkshake persons response.

    he has been Permitted to “renovate” so, all the electrical and pluming, etc will be inspected. Unless of course your afraid that these professional inspectors are LYING for him, I would leave it alone and make sure my grass is green on my side of the fence, if no fence, I suggest building a solid 12 foot high one. hat way you will have to find something else to do with all your free time.

    Your breaking a commandment. Maybe more than one.

    I would just move if I were you. It sounds like the neighborhood is “unsuitable” to your standards.
    We have some very well stocked libraries in Cape Coral.

    I suggest you READ A BOOK. And not one that causes HARM to others.

  47. I hate rats I have a neighbor who has done this twice to me and it isn’t nice at all first of all I am a generally nice person but I’m not feeling very nice after todays little surprise. I wonder what they’re going to do if the city found out they were raising a family out in their back barn shaped shed. the granddaughter her boyfriend and their brand new baby in a 10×10 ft. shed isn”t that illegal?

  48. File a complaint. If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. The City might inspect everything BUT the landlord will most likely go in afterwards and add an unpermitted gas line for the stove, and these have blown up before. Inlaw units take away from street parking too, the outer neighborhoods have become worse for parking than Russian Hill today. They may take pressure off of rental prices but they actually drive up housing prices because buyers factor in the extra rent to their monthly nut.

  49. I have good sources tell me that blah blah blah someone is planning to do blah? Probably some busy body messed up someone else’s livelihood over uninformed nonsense, here. Pathetic. Hey busybodies, here’s how you rat out a neighbor when you don’t really know what’s going on. Take a longish walk on a shortish pier.

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