Industry News

Chicago focuses on real estate developer accountability

Porch collapse spurs changes in licensing

A Chicago City Council committee wants residential developers to take more responsibility for their work, and is proposing a $125 license and a registry to help hold them accountable for shoddy workmanship. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the proposed new licenses would require developers to list all persons that have at least a 10 percent interest in the development partnership, and numbers would be assigned to developers that must appear in the developers' advertising, real estate contracts and building-permit applications. Consumers could check the registry before buying a home to review complaints against developers. Since the collapse of an improperly built porch in June 2003 killed 13 people, the city has changed licensing, inspection, permitting and communications procedures, and now requires licensing of all general contractors who perform repair or renovation work on buildings in the city. Under the city's most recent licensing ordinance, adopted by the City Council in Oc...