I purchased a legal 2 flat in Chicago last year and updated/renovated the basement garden unit.
An inspector come out in August of 2020 because his office received a call. He came out when we were working and said "you're a smart guy, you're a smart guy just fill something out online" and didn't even come in. Later that day I pulled permits to change out doors and windows because the inspector made it seem like it was no big deal. Cost me $575 for those permits and I thought the situation was over.
Fast forward almost 8 months and I receive a letter in the mail that I have a court date due to "plumbing and electrical" work without permits.
I Immediately called the Supervisor and hes going to send someone new out to inspect. He assured me not to worry - but that is exactly what the previous guy said and went against his word.
Does anyone have any experience/advice with this in the Chicago market? Would love to connect. Thanks!
I would get ready to submit plans and obtain a building permit. You can stretch out the process if you get a court appearance for the work done without a permit violation.
Most importantly, don’t do anything. Literally don’t do anything unless you get a written notice. Your easy permit might have triggered a violation for work which exceeds the scope
Of the permit.
As an Architect, my best advise is if you plan to renovate without getting a permit or drawings, do that with an assumption that you will have to submit plans if you get stopped. It’s best to do work with plans and permits using the right architect. However if you pull an easy permit and exceed the scope of work, it’s an invitation for inspectors to write you up and you can’t even plead ignorance.
If you arent pulling permits it's always a good idea to have a bunch of pictures of your work but you are truly at the cities mercy when the neighbor calls you in.