Zoning

4 Replies

Looking at a property that the County assessors office says is a 4 unit building but the City of Chicago Certificate came back as a 3 flat. Can this be Challenged? Everyone says the Certificate Trumps everything. Any thoughts?

@Michael Garcia  What is the current Zoning?

You can look at getting an administrative adjustment which will allow for additional non conforming use to it's current zoning.  Or you can pay the $1000 to apply for re zoning.

Each option will take a few months or a lot of money for expediters. 

Why do you even want to change the number of units?  It is very common here to have a in law unit

Originally posted by @Michael Garcia:

Looking at a property that the County assessors office says is a 4 unit building but the City of Chicago Certificate came back as a 3 flat. Can this be Challenged? Everyone says the Certificate Trumps everything. Any thoughts?

 Michael,

My first of many flips was a three unit property in Andersonville.  I ended up converting it to a four condominiums.  

What are you planning to do with the fourth unit?  Is it currently being used as a four unit property?  I would recommend talking to your alderman as they has immense power regarding zoning issues in their wards.  A number of apartment buildings in Chicago had basements illegally converted into apartments.  With the assessors paperwork, you at least have something to stand on.

Mark

@Brie Schmidt & @Mark Creason

So my reasons are... a 4 is worth more than a 3 in the future if I choose to sell. Also, this "garden" or "in law suite" has 9 foot ceilings and is extremely livable but can I legally rent it if it's not a legal unit? I know everyone is doing it but I'd like to know what the rules are. Right now the lender is actually going to make me cap off water and gas in the unit because it's "illegal" which of course everyone just says not a problem just change it back after closing. I'm just wondering what I need to watch out for and would not want to get caught with my pants down in the future over something I could potentially avoid is all. Or at least know what to keep on the DL. lol

We had that same situation just a few months ago.  We will not rent an illegal unit.  I don't want to open ourselves up to liabilities if something should happen.  And knowingly renting an illegal unit leaves very little defense.  Instead of going through the process of trying to get it rezoned, we chose to duplex down into the garden unit.  We get a  little less in rent than if it was another unit but it is a nice middle ground and we never have problems getting tenants for that unit.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.