A Certificate of Zoning Compliance is required whenever residential property containing five or fewer dwelling units is transferred or sold in the City of Chicago. The requirement does not apply to the transfer or sale of condominiums or cooperative buildings.
A Certificate of Zoning Compliance certifies the number of residential dwelling units at the property that are legal under the Chicago Zoning Ordinance. Under the ordinance, a dwelling unit is “one or more rooms arranged, designed or used as independent living quarters for a single household. Buildings with more than one kitchen or more than one set of cooking facilities are deemed to contain multiple dwelling units unless the additional cooking facilities are clearly accessory and not intended to serve additional households.”
The Department of Housing and Economic Development makes an initial decision within five business days after an application is received. When the number of legal dwelling units cannot be certified based on a review of the ordinance and city records, an inspection of the property is performed.
Certificates, if approved, are issued within five to ten business days (not including date of filing, weekends or holidays).
The procedures for GIT obtaining Chicago Zoning Certifications are as follows:
Condominium units, Co-op units, vacant property or commercial property containing no residential units: No zoning certification required and no fees are due to the City of Chicago or GIT.
Townhouse or Residential 1 unit building: Zoning certification required. GIT can provide single family zoning certification at the time of closing. Requirement is a completed original City of Chicago zoning application which is available at all GIT locations. If a customer is requiring zoning certification prior to closing; you must provide a check payable to the City of Chicago for $120.00 along with a completed zoning form. The processing fee to GIT is currently $85.00.
Residential 2-5 unit building: Zoning certification is required. The City of Chicago requires 10 business days to complete the process, so please allow enough time for zoning to be completed and reviewed to confirm that it matches the number of units required to satisfy the buyer and/or lender.
GIT can provide 2-5 unit zoning certification prior to the closing. We will need an original completed zoning certification form at least 14 days prior to closing and a check made payable to the City of Chicago for $120.00. The GIT processing fee is $85.00.
Mixed-use buildings: Zoning certification is required if 1-5 residential units exist in addition to commercial space. See rules and fees for single family and 2-5 unit buildings above. We must be provided the number of units to process.
Commercial buildings: Customer must have a certified building registration form when they come to the closing.
GIT cannot provide a Certified Building Registration form. For information on how to obtain, please call the City of Chicago at (312) 743-7063 for information.
If you have any questions, or are not sure about what fees are required, please contact the GIT Special Services Department at [email protected] or call 312.236.7781.