South Florida

NBC 6 Responds to Man Worried About Permit Inspection Delay

Geoffrey Ramgolam was tired of having to put up plywood every time a hurricane threatened South Florida.

“It was almost embarrassing to see my neighbors pull shutters in like 10 minutes while we’re spending the entire day trying to put panels up,” he said.

So, he decided to hire Maximum Shutter Systems because they had glowing reviews and were initially very responsive.

“That was a big selling point,” he said. “They were here within a day of us reaching out to them.”

According to Ramgolam, he paid $5,897 – the full amount for the job – when the shutters were installed in January but before they had passed inspection. That same day, he said he noticed the transparent panels for one of his windows were missing so he contacted the company.

“They said, ‘Oops, we forgot. Once we get the inspection passed, we will install those immediately,’” he remembered them saying.

According to the city of Plantation, the shutters failed inspection twice: once in March “…for not having the plans and the permit card on the job site” and a second time in May, “…where the inspection required clarification on [a] specific attachment, which was provided later.”

Ramgolam said he tried to get details from the company when the project failed the second inspection.

“Never heard anything at all,” he said. “I started reaching out now and I said, ok, did we pass, did we not pass? When am I going to get my transparent shutters? Nobody responded to me.”

When September rolled around and he was still waiting for answers, Ramgolam contacted NBC 6 Responds.

Our team emailed the company September 19th. The next day, Ramgolam said he and his wife started getting calls from the company.

“I knew though that it had something to do with you guys because it just felt, it was just odd,” he said. “So many phone calls after I could not even get a return phone call.”

The city of Plantation said a final inspection was ordered a few days later on September 24.

The company told us in an email the “…customer’s project is complete and the permit is closed out.” Our questions to the company about the permit delay went unanswered but they did say the NBC 6 Responds’ team’s efforts had nothing to do with the timing of their actions, something Ramgolam disputed.

“I find it hard to believe that they did not respond because of you guys,” he said.

Ramgolam said the company delivered the shutters that were missing and did not charge him for them. He was glad he could move on after waiting for so many months.

“Still a little bit unbelievable to think that it happened so quickly,” he said.

Even though a contractor may pull a permit and schedule inspections for a job on your property, it’s ultimately your responsibility as a homeowner to make sure a permit is closed. An open permit could lead to fines and even delay the sale of a home. The city told NBC 6 Responds they recommend waiting for a permit to be closed before paying a contractor the full amount owed for a job.

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