On January 1, 2012, the City of Chicago started to require water certifications for quit claim deeds, most likely to combat quit claim transfers being used to avoid paying water bills. Some of our clients have properties still owned by land trusts, which we encourage them to deed out upon a refinance. Last month we asked the title company to submit an application for a water certification three weeks prior to closing, but did not receive the certfication in time to close. We’d previously closed many large commercial deals with this title company and lender, so the title company issued the lender’s title policy based on delivery of the quit claim deed, even though it was not yet recorded. This office personally guaranteed the prompt payment of any water bills to the title company and we closed without the certification. Without our strong relationship with the lender and title company, we would not have been able to close the transaction on time. Submit your requests for water certifications as early as possible.