Are basement apartments legal in Illinois?

Are basement apartments legal in Illinois?

Dampening Illegal Building Plans A Chicago basement apartment can extend to any depth below the floor grade as long as the space has sufficient protection from leakage. Basement apartments must have a minimum ceiling height of 7 and a half feet.

How do I report an illegal basement apartment in Chicago?

The first step is to call 311 or go online to report the violation. If you go online, choose “building violation” as the service type. If you call, you will speak with an agent who will connect you to the building department. You may, if you choose, remain anonymous.

What makes an apartment illegal in Chicago?

Most illegal conversions are basements or attics which have been turned into separate rented apartment units or an existing single dwelling unit which is partitioned into two dwelling units. You may need to obtain a permit for the de-conversion of basement or attic units.

What’s the penalty for renting an illegal basement?

The penalty for renting an illegal basement can range from a fine to jail time for harming a tenant. When you rent out an unlawful apartment or basement, you’re carrying all the risk on your shoulders. Most insurance companies aren’t going to cover damages incurred to a home by an illegal apartment.

Is it illegal to have a basement apartment in Chicago?

The basement was, therefore, completed without city permission — it’s illegal. A Chicago basement apartment can extend to any depth below the floor grade as long as the space has sufficient protection from leakage.

What makes an apartment an illegal rental unit?

If the tenant is sharing the utility bills (gas, electric, water, etc.) with the landlord, or the landlord is paying for the utilities entirely, the rental unit may be illegal. This is a sign because it means that the rental unit is not being separately metered.

What are the laws on renting a house in Illinois?

Landlord must change the locks or keys every time the house is vacated or between tenants ( 765 ILCS 750/1 ). Landlord must provide a formula for dividing up utilities when utilities are split among multiple tenants. ( 765 ILCS 740 /5) Landlord must disclose any existence of Radon in any rental unit ( 420 ILCS 46/25 ).

Why is it illegal to rent a basement apartment?

There are several reasons that a property could be illegal to rent. Perhaps it is a 3 unit that is only approved to be a 2 unit building. Perhaps it is a basement apartment in a single family home that is not cleared to be an apartment. Perhaps there are no standard size windows in a basement or no exit in case of fire.

What are the legal requirements for basement apartments in Chicago?

A Chicago basement apartment can extend to any depth below the floor grade as long as the space has sufficient protection from leakage. Floors and walls must be impervious to water penetration from both surface and underground water.

If the tenant is sharing the utility bills (gas, electric, water, etc.) with the landlord, or the landlord is paying for the utilities entirely, the rental unit may be illegal. This is a sign because it means that the rental unit is not being separately metered.

How tall is the ceiling in an illegal basement?

Here’s a chart below to get you started: Legal Basement Apartment Illegal Basement Apartment Ceiling Greater Than 7 feet Ceilings Under 7 Feet Basement Ceiling 3.5 Feet Above Street Basement Mostly Underground Properly Sized Fire Escape No Fire Escapes Dry and Waterproof Mold and Unclean – Not Waterproof

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