New Rules for Converting to Condo

Mayor Richard M. Daley announced new regulations yesterday targeting apartment landlords who convert to condos. Daley will formally introduce the proposal at the City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 8.

CHICAGO - FEBRUARY 23:  Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley launches his YouTube channel during a press conference at the Google Chicago office February 23, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The channel will offer a behind the scenes look at the Mayor's duties.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)Under the new plan, developers and building owners will be required to give more notice to renters that their units are going to be converted. One portion of the plan requires developers and landlords to serve tenants with nine months notice before converting an apartment to a condo unit. Currently, city ordinance requires only four months of notice.
In addition, landlords would be required to give renters at least $1,500 to relocate if the building is being converted. Also, a standardized disclosure summary will be required of landlords, providing the tenant with data on taxes, assessments and the condition of the property before purchase.
The timing of this plan is unusual, considering such conversions have slowed given the slow pace of the condo market. In fact, by many accounts the rental market has become lucrative for landlords, who are finding better occupancy rates because of an increase in bankruptcy, foreclosures and home-mortgage denials. 
But Daley suggested that these regulations are being put into place for the condo-market rebound. "It's gonna come back, and we want to be able to learn by mistakes, let's be realistic, things that did not take place in order to protect people, simple as that," Daley said at a press conference yesterday.

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