Salon owner forced to spend thousands on expired permits she never knew about

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 5:26 PM EST
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A Port St. Lucie business owner is having to have thousands of dollars' worth of electrical and plumbing work done due to expired permits that were open years before she moved into the building.

Mary Grant has owned Prestige Hair Salon in Port St. Lucie for almost 14 years.

"This is my passion," Grant said.

Recently, she's been having electrical and plumbing work done that she wasn't expecting and can't afford.

"I don't have the money," Grant said.

She told WPTV it all started with a $5,000 small business grant that she applied for through the city.

Mary Grant has owned Prestige Hair Salon in Port St. Lucie for almost 14 years.
Mary Grant has owned Prestige Hair Salon in Port St. Lucie for almost 14 years.

"I did all the paperwork to get the check and everything else and I opened a can of worms, unbeknown to me that the city would come over to my business, and came with a plan, which indicate that there was an open permit that I had since 2004," Grant said.

The permit was open years before Grant moved in, according to records from the city.

It expired, but because the work was never completed, according to city records, the place isn't up to code.

Grant leases the space, but because she owns the business, she said the owner of the building told her she must pay for it.

"They did the plumbing work and then they said the electrical has to be done as well," Grant said.

She told WPTV the work will end up costing about $50,000.

"Because it seems like every day there's something different," she said. "They're adding this and they're adding this."

Mary Grant shows WPTV the work being done to her salon after discovering she had expired...
Mary Grant shows WPTV the work being done to her salon after discovering she had expired permits that were open since 2004.

A spokesperson for the city said in a statement:

"Typically, when there is a sale of a property, the title companies will conduct an open, expired permit or lien search of properties before a person purchases it. Unfortunately, it's a 'buyer beware' situation and there were expired permits on this property and it may not have been researched by her agent."

Grant told WPTV she wishes she would have done more research when looking for an agent and a space. It's a lesson she is learning the hard way.

"For those who want to open a business, be very careful," Grant warned. "Not everything that looks pretty is really pretty. Make sure you check to see if there's any open permits in the business, because if there are, you're responsible."

Grant told WPTV the owner of the building is loaning her the money so she can have all the work completed. However, she will have to pay him back and she said that will take her some time.

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