Permission To Use Architect Plans

5 Replies | Chicago, Illinois

I recently bought a property in Chicago that had a permit on it. The former owner transferred the permit to me but when the inspector came he said I needed to permission to transfer the architect’s plans to me in order to use them for the permit. Neither the owner or the architect said they had ever heard of this. Both are willing to comply but neither knows what the letter or document should say. Does anyone have an example or know what this is? The architect is really unsure what to put in the letter and I can't find anything online other than maybe that its copyrighted and I need permission but can't find a sample letter for anything like that 

Thank you for your help. 

@Gary Freidman Really? Architect 101.. Drawings, Plans, etc. are instruments of service and owned solely by the creator.. the architect/architect's office/business. Yes he needs a release stating he is accepting the transfer of property's ownership. He had a contract with the previous owner therefore has no connection to you as the new owner. Pretty simple if you ask me. Is he new?  

Honestly he should re-evaluate the original scope and ensure no changes have occurred and revise docs even if it's changing ownership info on drawings and update appropriate dates. 

Disclaimer: I am an architect, but I am not YOUR architect. I am not giving professional advice only general information. Contact a local architect/engineer for a detailed consultation specific to your project/locale.   

Gary, This is a bit unorthodox, but not unheard of. The inspector just wants to make sure that the architect knows the project was sold to another entity and the plans will be followed through construction. The architect is responsible for the drawings. All the architect really needs to do is contact the inspector and ask if there is a standard form. This usually dissipates the problem. They can also ask the inspectors superior what the expectation is for this circumstance, being that the plans are already permitted for the site.

Never heard of this being required by an inspector. Sounds like you need the original owner to assign the Architect's contract over to you. If that agreement has a clause banning assignment, I would ask the Architect for a letter issuing license to use the plans for the same property to a new owner.

Originally posted by @Nicholas Leone :

Never heard of this being required by an inspector. Sounds like you need the original owner to assign the Architect's contract over to you. If that agreement has a clause banning assignment, I would ask the Architect for a letter issuing license to use the plans for the same property to a new owner.

Agree Nicholas. In smaller municipalities, the plan examiner is also an inspector. So it makes sense. Happens often where I am.   

@Jared W Smith

thank you I agree and was not sure why he didn't know. I kind of assumed he would have this form letter or something like it which is why I did not ask the inspector for too much info when he told me. With that being said, he (the architect) wanted me to give him a letter or Form of assignment and I don't have one so if you have a template I would very much appreciate it

@Mike Garrett

We tried to call the inspector still can't get him to answer the phone. 

@Nicholas Leone

Thank you. Agreed that is how I understood it but wanted to make sure I had the right letter/form so I wouldn't annoy the Architect a second time if the City didn't like the one I put in.