Building Code Violations: Commercial and Residential Issues

Building Code Violations

Being Aware of and Addressing Building Code Violations

Rental properties can be great investments and sources of rental income. When buying and selling residential and commercial buildings to lease to tenants and businesses, be aware of building code violations. A building code violation can get in the way of the purchase or sale of a property. Building code violations must be cured prior to leasing to residential and commercial tenants.

Building codes establish minimum standards for construction, maintenance, alterations and the demolition of buildings. Building codes protect public health, safety, and welfare.

This FEMA article talks all about building codes

Michael V. Favia is a commercial and residential real estate attorney with an extensive network of professionals from a variety of practice areas, who are helpful in resolving problems. While the building codes and regulations in the city of Chicago may be well known by many, the myriad of suburban municipalities with their own codes and processes can be challenging. By hiring a residential and commercial real estate lawyer like Mike Favia you can get further, quicker.

Common violations of building codes in the city of Chicago include plumbing, electrical, balcony, alley, and entryway issues. Sometimes older buildings have plumbing, electric, roofing, and similar issues due to age.

Identifying Building Code Violations: Find Them Before Tenants Do

Use a licensed and bonded building inspector for many reasons. First, they know what to look for and you may not, despite your research and diligence. Next, proper building code inspector documentation may be required by parties to a real estate transaction. Finally, if something goes wrong with the real estate transaction and you find yourself in conflict or litigation, you can rely on the inspection and the inspector should there be a building code violation issue.

You don’t want your tenants identifying building code violations. If you have residential or commercial tenants on long-term leases, it is a good idea to have inspectors perform routine scheduled inspections, with proper notice given to tenants.

Tenants who identify building code violations may cause problems. For example, plumbing issues remaining unrepaired can lead to tenants refusing to pay rent until the problem is resolved. In eviction cases, both commercial and residential tenants can base non-payment of rents on building code violations. If the judge continues the case for inspection, tenants may be staying in your property longer and you are losing money.

The Process of Obtaining Permits                                                                                          

Building permits are important to ensure that construction of and repairs buildings. Your building contractor bidding on a new construction job, property or building repair and maintenance, should be familiar with the permitting process. Permits ensure that construction projects stay within the boundaries of what is allowed.

The process of getting a permit issued can range from simple to complex and requiring legal negotiation and potential litigation. Other issues about permits can come up when the previous owner may or may not have been issued a proper permit for a construction job. When purchasing or selling a property, an unpermitted addition, for example, might need to be removed and affect your purchase, sale, and construction costs.

The City of Chicago website for building permits is full of helpful information.

Inspections and Reports of Building Code Violations

Depending on what you may be building or repairing, there may be several required inspections and reporting requirements. For example, there are specifically required reporting rules for buildings with exposed metal structures such as fire escapes and balconies. Failure to report as required can lead to fines and further problems.

Building code violations reported to the city of Chicago or another municipality can result in notices of violations, fines and upcoming court dates to ensure compliance. In Chicago, building code enforcement matters are handled at the Department of Administrative Hearings or at the Daley Center (Circuit Court of Cook County).

Michael V. Favia & Associates in Chicago can advise and represent building owners with building code enforcement cases and follow up compliance requirements. Call today (773) 631-4580.

Licensing Information for Builders and Contractors

There are many licensed trades and the City of Chicago Department of Buildings is the regulatory agency overseeing. If you are interested in one of the 29,000 construction industry trades, in which there are many jobs and career opportunities, we can help you with the licensing process, especially if you have any infractions that could get in the way of your trade license.

Michael V. Favia is also well-known for his work in licensing and defending individuals with licenses in their trades and professions. See our page dedicated to Illinois licensing and defense.

Building Owner Insurance and Liability Exposure

A  third main practice area offered by the law firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates is personal injury law and defense. If you are the building owner with residential or commercial tenants, you are responsible for known conditions on the property that could harm others.

Being well insured and maintaining your property is important. Remember, an insurance policy is only as good as the underwriter from whom reimbursement is sought in an injury claim. Insurance companies are effective at denying claims because policyholders failed to maintain all required terms and conditions in the policy. Mike Favia’s injury practice experience is valuable to building owners who want to insulate from liability.

Chicago Real Estate Lawyer Michael V. Favia Helps Commercial and Residential Owners with Building Code Violations and Related Issues. Chicago-loop and Northwest Chicago locations: (773) 631-4580.

A former Assistant Illinois Attorney General and Chief of Prosecutions for the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (IDPR), now known as the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), attorney Michael V. Favia is uniquely positioned to advise and represent individuals and organizations with legal issues in connection with building code violations and other legal and business issues involving the purchase, sale and leasing of commercial and residential real estate.