City Of Chicago Building Permits

City of Chicago Building Permits Requirements

The Department of Buildings (DOB) Voluntary Compliance Program is designed to help ensure life safety and compliance with the Chicago Building Code.

The program allows building owners to avoid having a case filed against them in either the City’s Administrative Hearings Division or the Circuit Court of Cook County, which could result in significant fines. It allows homeowners to focus their time, energy and money primarily on their properties.

Rather than rely solely on punitive measures to compel building owners to repair and maintain property, DOB seeks to foster a positive and constructive relationship with each building owner so that code compliance is achieved.

The Voluntary Compliance Program is an opportunity for building owners and DOB staff to work together to encourage best practices in building design, construction and maintenance.

An Option for Building Owners

If DOB staff determines that a building’s conditions qualify it for the Voluntary Compliance Program, it will work with the building owner to ensure that the proper repairs or alterations are made as soon as possible.

DOB staff will also monitor the building to ensure that all work is done by licensed professionals, and that the design, materials and construction of the project meet the requirements of the Chicago Building Code.

How Voluntary Compliance Works

Based on its inspections, DOB will issue code violation notices, stop-work orders or citations to a building owner when the condition of the property is found to be in violation of the Chicago Building Code.

Homeowners with code violations need to contact DOB staff to request that their building issues be handled through the Voluntary Compliance Program.

If the owner is determined to be eligible to participate in the program, they will be allowed a reasonable amount of time to correct the violations rather than having to respond immediately to an administrative hearing or circuit court case.

Voluntary Compliance Eligibility

The Voluntary Compliance Program is designed primarily for owner-occupied buildings classified as residential single family residences, multi-family residences, and mix-use (residential/commercial) buildings. Buildings classified as Commercial, Industrial or Manufacturing use only, are not eligible to participate in the Program.

A building owner who is interested in participating must contact DOB staff to see if his or her building’s conditions make it eligible for participation in the Voluntary Compliance Program.

Guidance and Assistance

Beron Design Group is available to assist property owners in developing strategies to abate code violations .

In order for a building owner to avoid future legal action, The Department of Buildings must receive proof of compliance-through inspections, billing documents or photos-as soon as the violations are corrected.