What is a Certificate of Zoning Compliance?

What is a Certificate of Zoning Compliance?

Facade of a glass covered buildingWhen those in Illinois work with their Chicago real estate lawyer to transfer ownership of or sell residential property, a Certificate of Zoning Compliance must be obtained. These certificates verify that the number of residential dwelling units contained in the property meet legal requirements under the Chicago Zoning Ordinance.

However, the ownership or sale of cooperative buildings or condominiums do not have to comply with this requirement.

The definition of a dwelling unit

Under the Chicago Zoning Ordinance, a dwelling unit is defined as any room, or more than one room, that is designed to be used as an independent living space by a single household. If a building has more than one set of cooking facilities or multiple kitchens, it is considered to several dwellings. However, a building that demonstrates that the additional cooking facilities are not designed to serve more than one household or appear to be an accessory feature will still be considered a single dwelling.

When property owners sell or transfer ownership of a building with the assistance of their Chicago real estate lawyer, the Department of Housing and Economic Development will make a decision about whether or not to award a Certificate of Zoning Compliance within five business days after the initial application is submitted. If the Department is unable to review the ordinance as well as the building to determine if the number of legal dwelling units can be certified, an inspection of the property will need to be performed.

If certification is denied

When a Certificate of Zoning Compliance is denied, the contact person on the original application will be notified. After this transpires, the person who needs this certificate can ask the Zoning Administrator to reconsider his or her decision.

If one of these requests is made, an additional review of the presented information will be conducted and an inspection of the property will occur. One of these inspections must happen regardless of whether or not an on-site inspection was conducted in the past. However, an inspection can only occur after the property owner or the owner’s agent has provided the Zoning Administrator with written consent. After this inspection is performed, the Zoning Administrator must provide the property owner with a final decision within five business days after the request for a reconsideration is made.

Those who are denied a Certificate of Zoning Compliance after undergoing the review process may be concerned about how this will affect the profitability of the real estate transaction. In this situation, property owners may benefit from working with a Chicago real estate lawyer who can help them understand why their request for one of these certificates was rejected.

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