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Minot homeowners blame city for inspector negligence

February 8, 2018

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Some Minot homeowners are having trouble selling their property since discovering city building inspectors had failed to identify flawed construction in their development.

Then, they discovered the city might not be liable.

Resident Jon Newman purchased his Heidrich’s Subdivision home in 2014, but the house was built in 2008. Newman told the Minot Daily News that he found out his house wasn’t built following building permit specifications after putting it on the market last fall. Newman said he discovered the city hadn’t performed an inspection before issuing an occupancy certificate.

“I believe if the home had been inspected at all that we wouldn’t be standing here and those things would have been caught,” said Newman. “I cannot sell my home at this point, and I need to move on to my new job.”

Residents in Newman’s subdivision have reported issues with bowing walls and improper foundations.

Newman said he hasn’t been able to contact the subdivision’s developer, Jeff Heidrich, who filed for bankruptcy. Heidrich’s Subdivision contains 89 homes.

City Attorney Stefanie Stalheim said the subdivision has an indemnification agreement included in the building permit application that releases the city from claims under its review or failure to review building plans. Claims from future homeowners are also covered. Stalheim also said the amount of money that cities can be held liable for is limited by state law.

The City Council didn’t have immediate answers when approached by homeowners Monday.

Mayor Chuck Barney told homeowners that they should determine their options with city building inspectors.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com

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