Property Q&A in Chicago>Question Details

Tupper, Real Estate Pro in Chicago, IL

Is Chicago's "vacant building ordinance" scaring away rehabbers?

Asked by Tupper, Chicago, IL Fri Nov 4, 2011

If I buy a vacant building, I have to pay $250, and have to pay a "watchman" to watch the building from 8pm to 4am every day within 30 days of buying the building. Add to that the fact that, after closing, it can easily be a month or 2 before the city issues permits to begin construction, assuming that the rehabber already has his contractors all lined up. Has anyone else had experience with this or know somebody who has? How strict is the city about reinforcing this ordinance, and how much leeway to they give to owners who are actively applying for building permits? Thanks.

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Hi Tupper,

If it's a vacant building and it's been vacant, (for how long?) for whatever length of time and there hasn't been enough damage done to deter you from buying it....then, why would you worry about it now?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
If you think about it in the strict sense I would say yes. You should talk to the enforcement department during your consideration period. Just because they may not enforce it routinly, does not mean they give up the right to enforce it at any time. You are correct in your thinking. In trying to address a problem from public outcry, they created the problem you speak of. As I understand it it applies only If the property is near a school. It appears they did not consult with anyone in the business. It is to me a kneejerk reaction based on thinking the banks have a lot of money and people who buy these buidings must have a lot of money too. Also, if a buiding is in a bad location watchman costs could be more than the price of the property over time or eat into or eat up your profit during holding time.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 5, 2011
I havent heard about this driving any buyers away.
Web Reference: http://AmericorpRe.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
Are you kidding about hiring a watchman?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
no.. its much more complicated and a heck of a lot more money involved,,this is a token move by the city.
Web Reference: http://www.joeschiller.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 4, 2011
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