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Vacant Buildings

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In order to address the negative impact of improperly maintained vacant buildings on its neighborhoods, the City of Chicago has adopted registration and maintenance requirements applicable to the owners of all vacant buildings and the mortgagees of certain vacant residential buildings which have not been registered by an owner. The City of Chicago takes improperly maintained buildings seriously. Through this website:


  • Members of the public can obtain and track information about vacant buildings anywhere in the City of Chicago, as well as information about pending enforcement actions involving vacant buildings
  • An owner of a vacant building can register the building as required by ordinance, pay all applicable registration fees (credit card or electronic check) and provide updated information to the City regarding a registered building
  • A mortgagee of a vacant and unregistered residential building can register the building as required by ordinance and provide updated information to the City regarding a registered building

Members of the Public

Use the “Search Vacant Buildings By” feature in the upper right corner of this page to find information about vacant buildings that have been found in violation of the City’s vacant building requirements by the Department of Buildings. No account is required to use this feature.


Vacant Building Owners

Register a Vacant Building as Owner  (login required)


The City of Chicago requires that an owner of a vacant building register the building with the City once it is vacant for more than 30 days. Each owner of a vacant building is also required to secure, insure, and maintain that building as required by ordinance. Registration must be renewed every six months. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in significant penalties.


The registered owner of a vacant building will receive a daily e-mail report of public service requests (3-1-1 calls) and police activity at the property, including 911 calls. If you register a property, you must deregister the property if it is reoccupied, sold, or demolished.


Click here for a summary of the ordinance requirements applicable to owners of vacant buildings. The applicable ordinance can be found in Chapter 13-12 of the Municipal Code of Chicago .


Vacant Building Mortgagees

Register a Vacant Building as Mortgagee  (login required)


Effective November 19, 2011, a mortgagee of a vacant residential building must register the building if the mortgage is in default and the owner has failed to register the building as required. Such a mortgagee is also required to secure the building and perform certain maintenance. Registration must be renewed every six months.


A property must be deregistered if the loan is transferred or released or if the building is reoccupied, sold, or demolished. A new owner registration must be created by any person who takes title to a vacant building following a judicial sale or other foreclosure-related transfer, including a registered mortgagee, within 30 days of taking ownership.


Click here for a summary of the ordinance requirements applicable to mortgagees. The applicable ordinance can be found in Sections 13-12-126 to 13-12-128 of the Municipal Code of Chicago .




For questions or comments regarding vacant buildings, please email vacantbuildingprogram@cityofchicago.org or call the Department of Buildings at (312) 743-7200.

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