City of Chicago Water Certificates for Non-Metered Accounts

Attorneys should be aware of some nuances related to Non-Metered Account Chicago Water Certificates. Non-metered accounts are billed twice annually and each bill covers a six-month period. Because of the billing cycle, the City of Chicago Water Department (“Water Department”) does not issue a final bill upon the sale of a property. Instead, it issues a Water Certificate which notes any past due balances owed on the account and cites the date through which the account is paid. For most, if not all, non-metered accounts there are charges that have accumulated but have not yet been billed as of the date of closing. When this happens, the next bill will cover a period of time when both the seller and buyer owned the property.

Below is an example of a Chicago Water Certificate for a Non-Metered Account with important areas highlighted.

The seller’s attorney can determine the proration for the water by asking their client about their last paid bill. Attorneys should consider the time of year as well as rate increases when calculating the proration. If the parties agree, they can sign a Reproration Agreement at the closing to cover potential water proration shortages.  The seller attorney’s careful review of the water certification and the prorations, will prevent the buyer from receiving an unexpected water bill after closing which will likely include amounts that pre-date the closing.

Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. does not make any guaranties as to the water proration amount calculated by the attorneys.

Posted on: Fri, 11/03/2017 - 2:05pm