City Council Approves Cap on Late Payment Penalties for Unpaid Building Inspection Fees

July 21, 2021

Mayor’s Press Office    312.744.3334 /

CHICAGO - City Council today approved an ordinance that will cap the total late payment penalty on unpaid building inspection and reinspection fees at 100% of the original fee, similar to other city fines for parking and camera enforcement tickets. Capping these penalties is expected to reduce staff time spent on investigating, increase collections and, most important, it will help decrease the cost of investment in areas of the city that have been long underserved.

“Many of our city's outstanding unpaid fees are connected to properties on our south and west sides, which already face numerous barriers to investment and redevelopment,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “These fees are decades-old and have accrued significant penalties that keep residents trapped in a cycle of debt and unable to reach their highest potential. That's why I am thrilled that City Council has passed this important ordinance, which will bring much-needed relief to residents who were already struggling to make ends meet.”

The cap will apply to late payment penalties on a building inspection fee that is unpaid as of September 1, 2021. Late payment penalties will continue to accrue at the rate of $5 per 30 days until the cap is reached.

The Department of Buildings (DOB) will continue to work with the Department of Finance on the collection of building inspection fees.

“The overarching goal for our department is to gain compliance on building code violations so buildings are safe for residents,” said DOB Commissioner Matt Beaudet. “Reducing fines helps buildings owners use available funds to repair their buildings not on inflated late penalty fees, a win for both residents and the City.”