By Patrick D. Joyce

It’s the end of 2015 and most building owners are looking forward to a new year and the possibilities it may hold. But wait. Don’t forget to complete the City of Chicago Annual Elevator Inspection Certification (AIC).

The AIC program requires building owners or managers to complete an Inspection Certification by a certified inspection company by December 31 of each year. The program is designed to ensure the safety of patrons using elevators in Chicago’s high rise buildings. Certified inspection companies can be found on the City’s AIC website.

The AIC program only applies to building owners within Chicago’s “Central Business District” that have elevators or other conveyance devices (such as escalators) that carry people. The CBD is bounded by Lake Michigan to the East, Roosevelt Road to the South, Halsted Street to the West, and Chicago Avenue (west of LaSalle Street) or Division Street (east of LaSalle Street) to the North.

The City of Chicago has recently taken a hard-line stance on violations of the AIC program. If inspections are not completed, paid for, and certified through the City’s on-line AIC system by December 31 of the current year, a building owner is potentially liable for a fine of up to $50,000. As a practical matter, the City will adjust the fine based upon how “late” an owner is in filing the certification. The highest fine we have seen for an AIC violation is $4,000.

In previous years, the City has generally provided an approximate one-month “grace period,” until the end of January, to file the certification, but there is no assurance that the City will exercise its enforcement discretion in a similar fashion for certifications due December 31, 2015.

Please feel free to contact your Seyfarth Shaw attorney if you have any questions regarding the City of Chicago’s Annual Inspection Certification program.