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Vacant Buildings

The City of Kenosha is concerned about vacant buildings that have become dangerous, unsafe, or are in a state of disrepair. Buildings that are vacant may cause neighborhood deterioration, instability, and if not properly secured, attract vagrants and criminals. They also create an attractive environment for graffiti, dumping of trash, and vandalism.

Vacant Building Permit

A vacant building permit is required for any property, commercial or residential, that has been confirmed vacant by the Department for 180 days.

Certificate of Occupancy

Separate from a vacant building permit, a Certificate of Occupancy is required if the property has been vacant for 90 days with an outstanding order to repair.

Vacant Building vs Certificate of Occupancy

 Vacant Building PermitCertificate of Occupancy
Commercial Residential
When is it required? Required if vacant for 180 days Required prior to occupancy with a change in ownership or new business Required prior to occupancy, if vacant with active orders for 90 days
How much does it cost? Annual & renewal permit fee:
$360 Commercial
$100 Residential
One-Time Fee:
$180 for Commercial
One-Time Fee:
$120 per each residential unit
IE The cost for a four (4) unit multifamily building is $480.
Is it transferable to a new owner? Non-transferable Non-transferable Non-transferable
Building permit restrictions? Building permits may be issued at any time Application for Certificate of Occupancy is required before any building permits can be issued Application for Certificate of Occupancy is required before any building permits can be issued for (excluding vacant building permit)
What inspections are required? Annual interior inspection for major safety violations and exterior inspection for all code violations Interior inspection by the Building Division, Fire Department and exterior inspection by the Property Maintenance Division Interior inspection by the Property Maintenance Division and inspections on all applicable building permits by the Building Division
When is my permit finalized or Occupancy approved? Final permit issuance upon completion of inspection and necessary repairs  Occupancy issued upon final inspection approval including the completion of all required repairs