§ 13-12-145

Improperly maintained buildings and structures subject to nuisance abatement proceedings

a.

The following buildings and structures are hereby declared to be public nuisances subject to abatement proceedings under this section:

1.

a building or structure found to be vacant and open after the effective date of an order to secure and enclose issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or the department of administrative hearings within the previous 12 months, unless stayed by a court of competent jurisdiction;

2.

a building or structure that contains any violation of a health, fire, electrical, plumbing, building or zoning provision of this code which is imminently dangerous and hazardous;

3.

a building or structure for which the costs of the repairs necessary to bring the building or structure into compliance with applicable laws would exceed the market value of the building or structure after the repairs would have been made, or when the owner cannot show that it has readily available and sufficient assets to make such repairs or where such repairs otherwise are economically infeasible;

4.

a building or structure where an owner has failed to correct the code violation(s) that form the basis of an adverse order or judgment involving that building or structure, issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or a hearing officer of the department of administrative hearings, within 60 days of entry, unless such adverse order or judgment  has been stayed by a court of competent jurisdiction;

5.

a building or structure subject to enforcement proceedings by the city, and whose owner, or any person owning, directly or indirectly, 25 percent or more interest in the building or structure, is identified as a building code scofflaw or problem landlord pursuant to Section 2-92-416 of this Code because of violations that caused such enforcement proceedings.

For purposes of this section “vacantshall be defined as provided in Section 13-12-125; and “open” refers to a building that has any door, window or wall missing or unsecured, or has any other opening so as to allow entry by a human being.

b.

(1) Whenever an inspection by the department of buildings or other appropriate department reveals that a building or structure is a public nuisance as described in this section, the commissioner of buildings, with the concurrence of the corporation counsel, may initiate an abatement proceeding under this section in the buildings hearings division of the department of administrative hearings by serving a complaint on all owners of record, beneficial owners of any Illinois land trust having title to the property, and all lienholders of record in the property, in person or, if the entity being served is a corporation, partnership, limited liability company or Illinois land trust, either in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested. As used in this section, “lienholders of record” includes persons owning certificates of purchase under the Property Tax Code. The notice shall:

i.

be in writing;

ii.

include a description of the building or structure sufficient for identification;

iii.

state that the building or structure has been declared a public nuisance and that an abatement proceeding has been initiated pursuant to this section;

iv.

state that a hearing will be held before the buildings hearings division of the department of administrative hearings and further setting forth the date, time and location of the hearing; and

v.

state that all owners of record, beneficial owners of any Illinois land trust having title to the property, and all lienholders of record in the property shall be given the opportunity to appear and present evidence at the hearing to contest the determination that the building or structure is a public nuisance.

2.

If after notice and hearing provided in this section, an administrative law officer of the department of administrative hearings finds that the city has established by a preponderance of the evidence that the building or structure identified in the notice is a public nuisance as described in this section, the administrative law officer shall enter an order of abatement which requires the owner or owners of record, including beneficial owners of any Illinois land trust, within the time frame specified in the order, to take all reasonable measures necessary to abate the public nuisance. The administrative law officer’s order of abatement may include, but is not limited to: correcting all code violations; altering, repairing or improving the building or structure; rendering the building or structure fit for human use or habitation; vacating or enclosing the building or structure; removing or demolishing the building or structure; hiring a property manager or hiring a receiver appointed by the administrative law officer with powers specified in the order of abatement; or, if requested by the corporation counsel and reasonable in light of the magnitude of the harm caused or which can reasonably be expected to be caused by the nuisance, the market value of the property in its current condition, and the extent to which the defendant has failed to take effective measures to abate the nuisance, the assignment to the city or a third party designated by the city or forfeiture to the city of all of the defendant’s rights, title and interest in the real estate.

3.

Any person who fails to comply with an administrative law officer’s abatement order issued under this section shall be subject to the penalties set forth in Section 2-14-100 of this code. In addition, upon the failure to comply with the administrative law officer’s order, unless stayed by a court of competent jurisdiction, the commissioner of buildings, with the concurrence of the corporation counsel, may seek an order from an administrative law officer authorizing the commissioner to repair, alter, improve, vacate, close, remove or demolish, the building or structure as specified in the administrative law officer’s order.

c.

The corporation counsel is authorized to bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to abate a public nuisance described in this section. If the court finds that the city has established by a preponderance of the evidence that the building or structure identified in the notice is a public nuisance as described in this section, the court shall enter an order of abatement which requires the owner or owners of record, including beneficial owners of any Illinois land trust, within the time frame specified in the order, to take all reasonable measures necessary to abate the public nuisance. The court’s order of abatement may include, but is not limited to: correcting all code violations; altering, repairing or improving the building or structure, rendering the building or structure fit for human use or habitation; vacating or enclosing the building or structure; removing or demolishing the building or structure; the appointment of a receiver; or, if requested by the corporation counsel and reasonable in light of the magnitude of the harm caused or which can reasonably be expected to be caused by the nuisance, the market value of the property in its current condition, and the extent to which the defendant has failed to take effective measures to abate the nuisance, the assignment to the city or to a third party designated by the city or forfeiture to the city of all of the defendant’s rights, title and interest in the real estate.

d.

There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the issuance of an order of forfeiture or assignment of all of the defendant’s rights, title and interest in the real estate shall be appropriate for any property that is determined to be a nuisance under subparagraphs (a)(1), (a)(2),(a)(4) or (a)(5) of this section. Whenever such an order of forfeiture or assignment issues under this section with respect to a vacant building or a building containing four or fewer residential units, the holder of the first or senior mortgage or lien on the property, disregarding any more senior mortgages or liens held by a unit of government, shall, beginning 60 days after the date the order is issued, be liable for any code violations on the property on and after that date, unless the holder has waived its rights under the mortgage or lien; provided that the 60 day period after which liability attaches may be extended by an administrative law officer or court upon a showing that the mortgage or lienholder has exercised reasonable diligence in abating the nuisance and that additional time is needed to complete the abatement. The holder of such a mortgage or lien shall have the right to take possession of the property in order to effect necessary repairs beginning on the date that an order of forfeiture or assignment issues. In any case in which an order of forfeiture or assignment is sought for property involving a vacant building or a building containing four or fewer residential units, the holder of any first or senior mortgage or lien, disregarding any more senior mortgage or lien held by a unit of government, shall be given notice and an opportunity to intervene as a party.

e.

For any building or structure that is a public nuisance subject to abatement proceedings under this section, the owner, the owner’s agent for purposes of managing or controlling or collecting rents on the building or structure, the holder of a mortgage or lien with a right to possession of the building or structure under subsection (d) of this section, and any other person managing or controlling the building or structure shall be fined not less than $200.00 nor more than $1,000.00 for each day the nuisance has existed until the nuisance is abated. The amount of any fine issued under Section 2-14-100 or imposed under this section or under the building code in any proceeding involving a building or structure that is a public nuisance under this section, the cost of the repairs, alterations, improvements, or vacating and enclosing, or removal and demolition by the commissioner of buildings, and the costs of bringing the abatement proceeding under this section, including inspector’s and attorney’s fees, shall be recoverable from the owner or owners and shall be a lien on the property upon which the building or structure is or was located and shall also be enforceable against any person against whom the order issues as provided by law. Any lien created under this section may, upon a showing of good cause, be waived by the corporation counsel. The lien for the costs of repairs, alterations, improvements, demolition, receivership, vacating or enclosing shall be a first lien upon the real estate and the rents and issues thereof, and shall be superior to all prior assignments of rents and all prior existing liens and encumbrances, except taxes, and shall be enforced pursuant to applicable law. No license shall be issued relating to the property subject to such lien until the lien is satisfied or, upon a showing of good cause, the lien is waived by the corporation counsel. Nothing in this section shall prevent the city from seeking other remedies for code violations through the use of any other administrative procedure or court proceeding, including the imposition of fines set forth in Section 13-12-040 for violations of the building code.

f.

Any property assigned or forfeited to the city under this section may be disposed of as authorized by the city council.

(Added Coun. J. 8-30-00, p. 40306, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 11-1-05, p. 60443, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 7-39-08, p. 36080, § 3; Amend Coun. J. 1-21-15, p. 102428, § 6)

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