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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Building Inspection Bill Would Restrict Municipal Authority

Illinois House Bill 2206 is yet another bill introduced in the Illinois General Assembly that would take away important municipal powers. If passed, HB 2206 would only allow home inspections by a unit of local government under the following circumstances:
  • A fire, medical, or police emergency;
  • As otherwise permitted by Section 9 of the Fire Investigation Act;
  • Voluntary consent of the owner or occupant of the property;
  • A lawful warrant; or
  • A court order.
The bill would preempt home rule authority, and if passed, would restrict municipalities from enforcing ordinances that require rental inspections or inspections for transfer stamps and similar regulations. Municipalities are most concerned about the restrictions on their authority to address unsafe or dangerous structures where time may be of the essence but the circumstances may not fall under any of the listed statutory situations. 

The Illinois chapter of the APA has sent out a notice about this bill and is asking communities to oppose the legislation. Timing could be critical because the legislation has passed out of committee and is moving forward in the Illinois House.

Here's the text of the bill:
Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Local Government Residential Inspection Limitation Act.
Section 5. Physical inspection of residential property. Except for a fire, medical, or police emergency or as otherwise permitted by Section 9 of the Fire Investigation Act, a unit of local government may not conduct a physical inspection of residential property without the voluntary consent of the owner or occupant of the property, a lawful warrant, or court order. This Section is a denial and limitation of home rule powers and functions under subsection (g) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution.


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