In the News

Chicago’s vacant property ordinance likely to face constitutional challenge

August 8, 2011

A new ordinance in Chicago makes lenders responsible for maintenance of vacant properties on which they have a loan if the borrower/owner fails to do so. Lawyers, including Dykema’s Richard Gottlieb, believe the ordinance will likely be challenged since it violates lenders’ 14th Amendment right to equal protection. Gottlieb, quoted in HousingWire’s coverage of the matter, compared the ordinance’s requirements to “taking care of your neighbor’s lawn,” and being responsible if it is not mowed. Gottlieb said the ordinance is, “over broad in its application and a violation of equal protection.” Also brought to table by Gottlieb is the catch-22 situation mortgagees will face, since they cannot legally walk on property without full possession.

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