Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.

Added Coun. J. 4-10-19, p. 100029.

This chapter provides minimum standards for the maintenance and condition of existing structures and outdoor areas and specifies responsibilities of owners and occupants for maintenance of existing structures, equipment, and outdoor areas.
The owner must maintain structures and outdoor areas in compliance with this chapter, except as specifically provided in this code. Occupants must keep the portions of the premises that they are entitled to occupy and control in a clean, sanitary, and safe condition.
Vacant structures and open land must be maintained in a clean, safe, secure, and sanitary condition as provided in Chapter 14X-12 so as not to cause a blighting problem or adversely affect the public health or safety.

Added Coun. J. 4-10-19, p. 100029.

Amended Coun. J. 2-19-20, p. 14474.

Outdoor areas must be maintained in a clean, sanitary, and safe condition. Personal property stored in outdoor areas must be neatly stacked or stored and kept in a manner that prevents harborage of rodents or similar pests.

Outdoor areas must be graded and structures must be maintained to prevent the erosion of soil and the accumulation of stagnant water on the premises.

Exception: Permitted retention areas and reservoirs.

Fences, gates, and walls must be maintained structurally sound and in good repair.
Sidewalks, walkways, exterior stairs, driveways, parking spaces, and similar features must be kept in good repair and maintained free from unsafe conditions.
Weed and vegetation must be controlled in accordance with Section 7-28-120 of the Municipal Code.
Structures and outdoor areas must be kept free from rodent harborage and infestation in accordance with Sections 7-28-660 through 7-28-735 of the Municipal Code. Where rodents are found, they must be promptly exterminated by processes that will not be injurious to human health. After pest elimination, action must be taken to eliminate rodent harborage and prevent reinfestation.
Pipes, ducts, conductors, fans, and blowers may not discharge gases, steam, vapor, hot air, grease, smoke, odors, or other gaseous or particulate wastes directly on adjacent public or private property or that of another occupant in a manner which creates a health hazard or nuisance.

Added Coun. J. 4-10-19, p. 100029.
Amended Coun. J. 2-19-20, p. 14474.
Amended Coun. J. 10-7-20, p. 21791.

The exterior of a structure must be maintained in good repair, structurally sound, and sanitary.

The following conditions are unsafe and must be repaired or replaced to comply with the Chicago Building Code or the Chicago Building Rehabilitation Code as required for existing structures:

  1. The nominal strength of any structural member is exceeded by nominal loads, the load effects, or the required strength.
  2. The anchorage of the floor or roof to walls or columns, and of walls and columns to foundations is not capable of resisting all nominal loads or load effects.
  3. Structural members that have reached their limit state.
  4. Siding and masonry joints including joints between the building envelope and the perimeter of windows, doors, and skylights that are not maintained, weather resistant, or water tight.
  5. Structural members that have evidence of deterioration or that are not capable of safely supporting all nominal loads and load effects.
  6. Foundation systems that are not firmly supported by footings, are not plumb and free from open cracks and breaks, are not properly anchored, or are not capable of supporting all nominal loads and resisting all load effects.
  7. Exterior walls that are not anchored to supporting and supported elements or are not plumb and free of holes, cracks, or breaks and loose or rotting materials; are not properly anchored; or are not capable of supporting all nominal loads and resisting all load effects.
  8. Roofing or roofing components that have defects that admit rain; roof surfaces with inadequate drainage; or any portion of the roof framing that is not in good repair with signs of deterioration, fatigue, or without proper anchorage and incapable of supporting all nominal loads and resisting all load effects.
  9. Flooring and flooring components with defects that affect serviceability or flooring components that show signs of deterioration or fatigue, are not properly anchored, or are incapable of supporting all nominal loads and resisting all load effects.
  10. Veneer, cornices, belt courses, corbels, trim, wall facings, and similar decorative features that are not properly anchored or are anchored with connections not capable of supporting all nominal loads and resisting all load effects.
  11. Overhang extensions or projections including, but not limited to, trash chutes, canopies, marquees, signs, awnings, fire escapes, and exhaust ducts that are not properly anchored or are anchored with connections not capable of supporting all nominal loads and resisting all load effects.
  12. Exterior stairs, decks, porches, exterior balconies, and all similar structures, including guards and handrails, that are not structurally sound, are not properly anchored, or are anchored with connections not capable of supporting all nominal loads and resisting all load effects.
  13. Chimneys, flues, cooling towers, smokestacks, and similar features that are not structurally sound or not properly anchored, or that are anchored with connections not capable of supporting all nominal loads and resisting all load effects.

    Exceptions:

    1. Where substantiated as structurally sound and reasonably safe in a condition report that is acceptable to the building official. Condition reports must comply with Section 14X-1-104.
    2. Demolition of unsafe conditions is allowed where permitted by the building official.
  14. Walking surfaces that are uneven or unstable.

Exterior surfaces, including but not limited to walls, roofs, doors, door and window frames, cornices, trim, porches, exterior balconies, decks, and fences, must be maintained in good condition. Exterior wood surfaces, other than decay-resistant woods, must be protected from the elements and decay by painting or other protective covering or treatment. Peeling, flaking, and chipped paint must be eliminated and surfaces repainted on a regular basis. Siding and masonry joints, as well as those between the building envelope and the perimeter of windows, doors, and skylights, must be maintained weather resistant and water tight. Metal surfaces subject to rust or corrosion must be coated to inhibit such rust and corrosion, and surfaces with rust or corrosion must be stabilized and coated to inhibit future rust and corrosion.

Exception: Surfaces designed for stabilization by oxidation.

Buildings must have address numbers displayed in accordance with Chapter 10-4 of the Municipal Code.
Structural members mustbe maintained free from deterioration, structurally sound, and capable of supporting the imposed loads and loads prescribed in Chapter 16 of the Chicago Building Code.
Exception: Occupiable rooftops first permitted before January 1, 1991, must be capable of supporting the imposed dead load and a live load of 60 pounds per square foot (2.87 kN/m2).
Foundation walls must be maintained plumb and free from open cracks and breaks. Foundation walls must be substantially watertight.
Exterior walls must be free from holes, breaks, loose or rotting materials, and other conditions which might admit rain or dampness to the interior of the building.
The roof and flashing must be sound, tight, and without defects that admit rain. Roof drainage must be adequate to prevent dampness or deterioration in the walls or interior portion of the structure. Roof drains, gutters, and downspouts must be maintained in good repair and free from obstructions. Roof water may not be discharged in a manner that creates a public nuisance.
Cornices, belt courses, corbels, trim, wall facings, and similar decorative features must be maintained in good repair, with proper anchorage, and in a safe condition.
Projections such as canopies, marquees, signs, awnings, fire escapes, and exhaust ducts must be maintained in good repair and be properly anchored.
Chimneys, cooling towers, smoke stacks, and similar features must be maintained structurally sound and in good repair.
Exterior stairways, decks, porches, and exterior balconies must be maintained structurally sound, in good repair, properly anchored, and capable of supporting the imposed loads.
Every handrail and guard must be firmly fastened and capable of supporting normally imposed loads and must be maintained in good condition.
Windows, skylights, doors, and frames must be kept in sound condition, good repair, and weather tight.
Glazing materials must be maintained free from cracks and holes.
Windows, other than fixed windows, must be easily operable and capable of being held in position by window hardware.
Windows in residential occupancies must also comply with Section 14X-4-403.4.

During the period from April 15 to November 15, every door, window, and other outside opening used to provide ventilation for habitable spaces, food preparation areas, food service areas, or any areas where products to be included or utilized in food for human consumption are processed, manufactured, packaged, or stored must be supplied with tightly fitting screens of minimum 16 mesh per inch (16 mesh per 25 mm). Every screen door used for insect control must have a self-closing device in good working condition.

Exceptions:

  1. Screens are not required where other approved means, such as air curtains or insect repellent fans, are employed.
  2. Insect screens are not required for openings more than 50 feet (15.2 m) above the ground unless the building official determines that unusual insect prevalence exists at the premises.
Exterior doors, door assemblies, operator systems if provided, and hardware must be maintained in good condition. Locks at all entrances to dwelling units and sleeping units must tightly secure the door. Locks on means of egress doors must be in accordance with Section 14X-5-505.1.2.2.
Every basement hatchway must be maintained to prevent the entrance of rodents, rain, and surface drainage water.
Every basement window which is openable must be supplied with a heavy wire screen or hardware cloth of not less than four mesh per inch which fits tightly and is securely fastened to the frame or other approved material affording equivalent protection against the entry of rodents.
Exterior gates, gate assemblies, operator systems if provided, and hardware must be maintained in good condition. Latches at all entrances must tightly secure the gates.

Added Coun. J. 4-10-19, p. 100029.

Amended Coun. J. 2-19-20, p. 14474.

The interior of a structure must be maintained in good repair, structurally sound, and in a sanitary condition. Occupants must keep that part of the structure that they occupy or control in a clean and sanitary condition. The owner of a structure containing two or more dwelling units, sleeping units or non-residential units, must maintain shared or public areas of the structure in a clean and sanitary condition.

The following conditions are unsafe and must be repaired or replaced to comply with the Chicago Building Code or the Chicago Building Rehabilitation Code as required for existing structures:

  1. The nominal strength of any structural member is exceeded by nominal loads, the load effects, or the required strength.
  2. The anchorage of the floor or roof to walls or columns, and of walls and columns to foundations is not capable of resisting all nominal loads or load effects.
  3. Structural members that have reached their limit state.
  4. Structural members are incapable of supporting nominal loads and load effects.
  5. Stairs, landings, corridors, interior balconies, and all similar walking surfaces, including adjacent guards and handrails, are not structurally sound, not properly anchored, or are anchored with connections not capable of supporting all nominal loads and resisting all load effects.
  6. Foundation systems that are not firmly supported by footings are not plumb and free from open cracks and breaks, are not properly anchored, or are not capable of supporting all nominal loads and resisting all load effects.

    Exceptions:

    1. Where substantiated as structurally sound and reasonably safe in a condition report that is acceptable to the building official. Condition reports must comply with Section 14X-1-104.
    2. Demolition of unsafe conditions is allowed where permitted by the building official.

Structural members must be maintained structurally sound and be capable of supporting the imposed loads and loads prescribed in Chapter 16 of the Chicago Building Code.

Exception: Reduced load factors may be used in Group F, M, and S occupancies where approved by the building official as sufficient for the specific use and posted in accordance with Section 803 of the Chicago Construction Codes Administrative Provisions.

Interior surfaces, including windows and doors, must be maintained in sound and sanitary condition. Peeling, chipping, flaking, or abraded paint must be repaired, removed, or covered. Cracked or loose plaster, decayed wood, and other defective surface conditions must be corrected.
Lead-bearing substances and finishes on interior surfaces must be maintained or abated in accordance with Chapter 7-4 of the Municipal Code.
Floors, stairs, ramps, landings, interior balconies, and other walking surfaces must be maintained in sound condition and good repair and free of holes, wide cracks, and uneven surfaces.
Handrails and guards must be firmly fastened and capable of supporting normally imposed loads and must be maintained in good condition.
Interior doors must fit reasonably well within their frames and be capable of being opened and closed by being properly and securely attached to jambs, headers, or tracks as intended by the manufacturer of the attachment hardware.

Added Coun. J. 4-10-19, p. 100029.

Amended Coun. J. 2-19-20, p. 14474.

Structures and equipment must be maintained in good repair, structurally sound, and in a sanitary condition.

Where any of the following conditions cause a component or system to be beyond its limit state, the component or system is unsafe and must be repaired or replaced to comply with the Chicago Building Code or the Chicago Building Rehabilitation Code as required for existing structures:

  1. Soils or foundations that have been subjected to any of the following conditions:

    1. 1.1. Collapse of footing or foundation system.
    2. 1.2. Damage to footing, foundation, concrete, or other structural element due to soil expansion.
    3. 1.3. Adverse effects to the design strength of footing, foundation, concrete, or other structural element due to a chemical reaction from the soil.
    4. 1.4. Inadequate soil as determined by a geotechnical investigation.
    5. 1.5. Where the allowable bearing capacity of the soil is in doubt.
    6. 1.6. Adverse effects to the footing, foundation, concrete, or other structural element due to the ground water table.
  2. Concrete that has been subjected to any of the following conditions:

    1. 2.1. Deterioration.
    2. 2.2. Ultimate deformation.
    3. 2.3. Fractures.
    4. 2.4. Fissures.
    5. 2.5. Spalling.
    6. 2.6. Exposed reinforcement.
    7. 2.7. Detached, dislodged, or failing connections.
  3. Aluminum that has been subjected to any of the following conditions:

    1. 3.1. Deterioration.
    2. 3.2. Corrosion.
    3. 3.3. Elastic deformation.
    4. 3.4. Ultimate deformation.
    5. 3.5. Stress or strain cracks.
    6. 3.6. Joint fatigue.
    7. 3.7. Detached, dislodged, or failing connections.
  4. Masonry that has been subjected to any of the following conditions:

    1. 4.1. Deterioration.
    2. 4.2. Ultimate deformation.
    3. 4.3. Fractures in masonry or mortar joints.
    4. 4.4. Fissures in masonry or mortar joints.
    5. 4.5. Spalling.
    6. 4.6. Exposed reinforcement.
    7. 4.7. Detached, dislodged, or failing connections.
  5. Steel that has been subjected to any of the following conditions:

    1. 5.1. Deterioration.
    2. 5.2. Elastic deformation.
    3. 5.3. Ultimate deformation.
    4. 5.4. Metal fatigue.
    5. 5.5. Detached, dislodged, or failing connections.
  6. Wood that has been subjected to any of the following conditions:

    1. 6.1. Ultimate deformation.
    2. 6.2. Deterioration.
    3. 6.3. Damage from insects, rodents, or other vermin.
    4. 6.4. Fire damage beyond charring.
    5. 6.5. Significant splits and checks.
    6. 6.6. Horizontal shear cracks.
    7. 6.7. Vertical shear cracks.
    8. 6.8. Inadequate support.
    9. 6.9. Detached, dislodged, or failing connections.
    10. 6.10. Excessive cutting and notching.
  7. Structural glass that has been subjected to any of the following conditions:

    1. 7.1. Deterioration.
    2. 7.2. Fractures.
    3. 7.3. Detached, dislodged, or failing connections.
    4. 7.4. Damage to any protective coating, gasket, or interlayer.

Exceptions:

  1. Where substantiated as structurally sound and reasonably safe in a condition report that is acceptable to the building official. Condition reports must comply with Section 14X-1-104.
  2. Demolition of unsafe conditions is allowed where permitted by the building official.

Added Coun. J. 4-10-19, p. 100029.

Exterior and interior flights of stairs with more than four risers must have a handrail on at least one side of the stair. Existing handrails must be not less than 30 inches (762 mm) or more than 42 inches (1067 mm) measured vertically above the nosing of the tread or above the finished floor of the landing or walking surface.

Open sides of a stair, landing, balcony, porch, deck, ramp, or other walking surface that is more than 30 inches (762 mm) above the floor or ground immediately below must have guards. Existing guards must be not less than 30 inches (762 mm) in height above the floor of the landing, balcony, porch, deck, ramp, or other walking surface. Existing guards must be not less than 36 inches (914 mm) in height where the walking surface is more than 12 feet (3658 mm) above the floor or ground immediately below.

Exceptions:

  1. Guards are not required in existing buildings where not required for new construction by the Chicago Building Code.
  2. Open sides of a stairway equipped with a handrail on at least one side in accordance with Section 14X-3-306.1, where the walking surface is less than 8 feet (2438 mm) above the floor or ground immediately below.

Guards that are required to be 36 inches (914 mm) in height by Section 14X-3-306.2 must have balusters or ornamental patterns such that a 6-inch (152 mm) diameter sphere cannot pass through any opening up to a height of 34 inches (864 mm).

Exceptions:

  1. At elevated walking surfaces provided for access to equipment, openings in guards must not allow passage of a 21-inch (533 mm) diameter sphere.
  2. In Group I-3, F, H, and S occupancies, openings in guards must not allow passage of a 21-inch (533 mm) diameter sphere.
  3. Approved existing open guards.
Handrails and guards must also meet all applicable requirements that were in effect at the time the flight of stairs or walking surface was constructed.

Added Coun. J. 4-10-19, p. 100029.

Outdoor areas and the interior of structures must be kept free from the accumulation of rubbish and garbage. Unless specifically allowed by the Chicago Zoning Ordinance, outdoor areas may not be used for the storage of inoperable motor vehicles.
Every occupant of a structure must dispose of all rubbish and garbage in a clean and sanitary manner as provided in Chapter 7-28 of the Municipal Code.

Added Coun. J. 4-10-19, p. 100029.

Structures must be kept free from infestation by insects, rodents, and similar pests. Structures in which insects, rodents, or similar pests are found must be promptly exterminated by processes that are not injurious to human health. After pest elimination, proper precautions must be taken to prevent reinfestation.
The owner of any structure is responsible for pest elimination on the premises prior to renting or leasing the structure.
The occupant of a detached building containing only a single dwelling unit or of a singletenant non-residential building is responsible for pest elimination on the premises.
The owner of a structure containing two or more dwelling units, sleeping units, or nonresidential units is responsible for pest elimination in the public or shared areas of the structure and outdoor areas. Where infestation exists in two or more units, the owner is responsible for pest elimination throughout the premises.

Occupants are responsible for the continued rodent and pest-free condition of the structure and must keep that part of the premises they are entitled to occupy and control free from infestation by insects, rodents, and similar pests. An occupant is responsible for pest elimination where the infestation is limited to the occupant's unit.

Exception: Where an infestation is caused by defects in the structure, the owner is responsible for pest elimination.

UpCodes Premium
Leverage the most sophisticated code compliance platform.
TRY FREE FOR TWO WEEKS VISIT PRICING