Property Q&A in Chicago>Question Details

Sg, Home Buyer in Chicago, IL

Building Im buyn has violation on basement apt. If this is going to be my primary residence do I need 2 pull permit 2 restore 2 original construction

Asked by Sg, Chicago, IL Tue Oct 5, 2010

I am due to close on this 2 flat on October 13 and really need some direction on how to cure this violation. The basement unit is apparently an illegal garden apartment, therefore the violation states to remove work performed without permit and restore building to original construction. This building will be owner occupied. Do I have to pull a permit to remove this work? Also, how do I know what the original construction was and how do I obtain this information? I need answers right away because I would like to cure this violation as soon as I close. Thank you

Help the community by answering this question:


Generally, a Standard Plan Review with drawings stamped by an architect would be required whenever walls are being built or removed. That is usually the case whether it is owner occupied or not. You are allowed to act as your own GC in that case though. I would look at the City of Chicago Department of Buildings website. You might be able to go to a neighborhood permit center or the easy permit desk at city hall and explain your situation and get a better (less expensive) way to remedy the violation. Be sure to take the violation and any other info you have when you go. Photos might be helpful too. If you have any questions feel free to call or email me at the contact info on our website. The department of buildings can be tough to navigate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
Hi Josh,
I am actually buying this property from the bank. It is a foreclosure. The violation is due to the work being done without a permit. So I was just trying to take the least expensive route in order to cure the violation. Im assuming that the original basement was just open so I was just going to open it up. Will I need an architect just to make it an open basement? What type of permit would I need to get being that this building will be owner occupied?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
Permits are always required for most interior and exterior work. If you plan to sell in the future often buyers want to know if the work was done with a permit and is up to code. If you get caught doing work without a permit you also could be fined. Better safe than sorry...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
In Chicago, nearly everything requires a permit so the short answer is probably yes. If you are going to replace the work with new walls, etc. you will definitely need a permit. I would be curious to know if the violation is because the work was done without a permit or because the unit is not allowed per zonining ordinance. If the apartment is allowable per zoning, you may be able to apply for a permit for the work in place now and remedy the violation. If not, it would be difficult to know what original construction is without getting the info from the owner that did the work. If don't know if the garden unit is allowed by zoning I can help you figure that out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 5, 2010
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer