Add $30 to the cost of selling your Chicago home

The City of Chicago has raised the fee for a Certificate of Zoning Compliance from $90 to $120, effective January 1, 2013.

The certificate “is required whenever residential property containing five or fewer dwelling units is transferred or sold in the City of Chicago. The requirement does not apply to the transfer or sale of condominiums or cooperative buildings.” The certificate specifies “the number of residential dwelling units at the property that are legal under the Chicago Zoning Ordinance.”

Whether Chicago’s Zoning Ordinance allows for a property’s current use is a question that isn’t always asked by home buyers, but one that ought to be. It’s almost never exercised, but the City has the power to order that a nonconforming unit be vacated or removed – not a pleasant prospect if it’s your unit, or a unit in a small condo building you own in.

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