Can a Village enforce Code Violations they neglected to identify when previously granting a Cert. of Compliance? Nothing has been changed in the home.

Asked by snpatel1, Forest Park, IL Tue Sep 20, 2011

I purchased my home in 2009 in Forest Park, IL. The Village conducts a Home Inspection for all property sales. In 2009, they identified a few minor items I needed to correct before they would grant me a Certificate of Compliance. These items were rectified in 2009 and the Village provided me with a Certificate of Compliance.

Now I am trying to sell my home and the Village is asking me make some significant changes (remove back staircase from patio to back yard, among others) claiming code violations. I feel they should be on the hook for some of these fixes, since they had signed off on multiple inspections of the property claiming no issues (during construction (previous owner) and when I purchased in 2009). I would have negotiated a different deal had I known this was an issue with the home. Removing the stairs significantly changes the functionality of my home.

Any thoughts on potential recourse I may have...

Thank you

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Vincent Fiore’s answer
Vincent Fiore, Agent, St Charles, IL
Tue Sep 20, 2011
If what they are asking you to do is because the codes have changed since they issued the certificate then you must comply. If they were an oversite in 2009 you have recource with the builder or previous owner though It might note be easy. Good Luck Vince Fiore 312-969-9373
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1 vote
Anthony Cava…, Agent, Joliet, IL
Wed Sep 21, 2011
I disagree with Vincent somewhat. Usually, if the codes have changed, you are grandfathered in. I see no reason why this shouldn't be the case.
0 votes
Marion Digre, Agent, Oak Park, IL
Tue Sep 20, 2011
I see this kind of thing happen a lot in towns with village compliance inspections. One inspector will see something that the previous inspector did not. Also, codes do change from time to time. I think you should stay calm (if possible) and speak to the head of the building department in Forest Park. I've generally found them to be reasonable people if treated nicely. If you can't get anywhere with them that way, you may need to seek legal advice. Best bet would be to call attorney Sharon O'Shea or someone else equally well-versed in Forest Park matters. Best of luck!

Marion Digre
RE/MAX In The Village
Oak Park, IL
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Anthony Cava…, Agent, Joliet, IL
Tue Sep 20, 2011
I agree with you completely. You were in compliance before. What in the world changed?

However, I think you need to speak with an attorney. You may need to take legal action.

I'm glad you brought this to people's attention. If I ever have a buyer looking in that area, I'll have to advise them of this village issue. That may affect their decision to purchase there.
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