The subject of permits in Florida may seem confusing, but it is a topic that you should be familiar with if you are planning to purchase a home in Miami in the near future. The City of Miami Building Department notes that once you own the property, any open or expired permits will be your responsibility.
A person who wants to make changes to a home has to file an application with the building department in order to get the permits that allow the repairs, maintenance or renovations to take place. When these are not done properly or are never completed, or if the owner does not have the work inspected, this could turn into a permit issue that you do not want to inherit when you purchase the property. An expired permit violates the Florida Building Code.
Having a project on the property that has been started and not completed may also cause you problems. The permit may have been acquired to correct issues with the plumbing or electrical systems, for example. When you ask the current owner about permits, it may bring attention to a safety problem that should be fixed before you purchase the property.
Permits cannot be closed until the project passes inspection, so once the owner can supply these, you will have official reassurance that everything is up to code. There may be other issues about the property or the sale that are not discussed here, so this general information should not be interpreted as legal advice.