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Closing Cost Increase Alert - Zoning Certifications

by: Michael Wasserman

The City of Chicago Department of Buildings has quietly announced a January 1st increase in the cost of a Zoning Certificate of Compliance. In the new year, the fee will rise from $90 to $120.

The certificate is required at the time of closing for all single family homes and multi-unit buildings with up to five residential dwellings. It does not apply to the transfer or sale of condominiums or cooperative buildings.

Chicago Zoning Certificate
A Seller applies for the certificate at the Building Department's City Hall offices (room 905), stating the number of residential units Seller believes exist at the property location. The Building Department either "agrees" with the Seller's representation and certifies, or denies certification as it believes another number may exist. The purpose here is to prevent buyers from acquiring property with illegal dwelling units. The process notifies both the seller and the buyer as to how many lawful units exist on site.

On the up side, the last time the City bumped the fee up, it went up 80% (from $50 to $90). This time it is a "mere" a 33% increase.

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