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New Water Department Fees for Chicago Homer Sellers

For years, and with very few exceptions, home sellers in Chicago have had to prove at closing that their municipal water & sewer bills were paid in full. Naturally, the City of Chicago's Department of Water Management has charged a modest fee to produce the required certification.

Effective December 17, 2007, that fee will increase from $25 to $50.

The new requirement will also apply to condominiums, a practice that was discontinued back in 2004, when the department was plagued by certain irregularities (scandals) and the volume of closings caused massive delays in getting such certifications processed.

There has been very little publicity about this change so I expect that more than a few closings are going to be delayed or skewered as uninformed condo sellers and their lawyers scramble to obtain the necessary paperwork. Making things worse, I understand that there have been several recent departmental layoffs so do not be surprised when you re-acquaint yourself with those nasty long lines at the department's service counter and payment window.

The measure is expected to generate $11 million in new revenue for the City.

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