Sep
02

Daley Increasing Condo Renter and Buyer Rights

September 02, 2010

Mayor Richard M. Daley unveiled a plan Thursday aimed at protecting Chicago real estate renters and buyers.

When the real estate market was hot several years ago, there were developers converting apartments into condominiums all over the city, which strengthened neighborhoods and allowed many buyers to purchase their first home.

Many renters found themselves displaced, however, because they couldn’t afford to buy a condo.

Those that did buy the condo conversions weren’t always being told the truth about the quality of their new home, and some buyers and lenders were being defrauded by unscrupulous developers.

To protect Chicago residents, renters and buyers alike, the Mayor’s Condominium Conversion Task Force was created to address these issues.

“With these concerns in mind, we created the Task Force to help us protect consumers and find a balance between the benefits of condominium conversion and its potential challenges,” said Mayor Daley. “These proposals will serve residents and neighborhoods now and when the housing market begins to rebound, so there’s no better time to enact them into law.”

The proposed ordinance, which will be introduced at the September 8 City Council meeting, recommends these guidelines:

*Create a Condominium Registration Program for converted and new condos that will require developers to prove they have given existing tenants notice of a conversion as well as buyers information about the property.

*Increase the required tenant-notice period from four months to nine months.

*Require landlords to give renters at least $1,500 to relocate in the event of a building conversion.

*Implement a standardized Disclosure Summary that reveals taxes, assessments and the physical condition of a building before a buyer commits.

The city has also set up a new web site — www.cityofchicago.org/bacp — where you can track disciplinary action taken by the city against developers or general contractors.

This site will eventually be expanded to show all work history done by professionals with the city.

“The creation of more quality affordable housing for individuals and families is one of the ways that we are building a better future for the people of Chicago,” said Daley.

“Affordable housing is the cornerstone of a strong neighborhood.”

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