Chicago residential landlord tenant ordinance
Say whatcha will about Chicago - brutal winters, the worst gridlock in the United States of America - our city leaders have, for decades, carefully placed protections for both tenants and landlords. The Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance - our 'Bible' here at CTRL - is your best friend if you are a tenant or even if you're a new landlord. You should know that your landlord is required by law to attach a summary of your rights under the RLTO to your lease agreement. Below are helpful snippets of the RLTO for your review - call us or email us if you have any questions. We're happy to help.
PURPOSE OF RLTO: Section 5-12-010 "...It is the purpose of this chapter and the policy of the city, in order to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens, to establish the rights and obligations of the landlord and the tenant in the rental of dwelling units, and to encourage the landlord and the tenant to maintain and improve the quality of housing....This chapter applies to, regulates and determines rights, obligations and remedies under every rental agreement for a dwelling unit located within the City of Chicago , regardless of where the agreement is made.
LANDLORD'S RIGHT OF ACCESS: Did your landlord enter your apartment without permission? If your landlord wants to enter your unit, they must give you 48 hours' notice as specified in Section 5-12-050: "A tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter the dwelling unit: a) to make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements; b) to supply necessary or agreed services; c) to conduct inspections authorized or required by any government agency; d) to exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortagees, workmen or contractors; e) to exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective tenants 60 days or less prior to the expiration of the existing rental agreement; f) for practical necessity where repairs or maintenance elsewhere in the building unexpectedly require such access; g) to determine a tenant's compliance with provisions in the rental agreement; and (h) in case of emergency. The landlord shall not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant. Except in cases where access is authorized by subsection (f) or (h) of this section, the landlord shall give the tenant notice of the landlord's intent to enter of no less than two days. Such notice shall be provided directly to each dwelling unit by mail, telephone, written notice to the dwelling unit, or by other reasonable means designed in good faith to provide notice to the tenant...In cases where access is authorized by subsection (f) or (h) of this section, the landlord may enter the dwelling unit without notice or consent of the tenant. The landlord shall give the tenant notice of such entry within two days after such entry." The RLTO provides mo(netary remedies if your landlord violated this - you could be entitled to recover "an amount equal to not more than one month's rent or twice the damage sustained by [them], whichever is greater."
SECURITY DEPOSITS: Section 5-12-080 (a)(1) A landlord shall hold all security deposits received by him in a federally insured interest-bearing account in a bank, savings, and loan association or other financial institution located in the State of Illinois. A security deposit and interest due thereon shall continue to be the property of the tenant making such deposit, shall not be commingled with the assets of the landlord, and shall not be subject to the claims of any creditor of the landlord or of the landlord's successors in interest, including a foreclosing mortgagee or trustee in bankruptcy. (2) Notwithstanding subsection (a)(1), a landlord may accept the payment of the first month's rent and security deposit in one check or one electronic funds transfer, and deposit the check or electronic funds transfer into one account. If within 5 business days of the acceptance of the check or transfer, the landlord transfers the amount of the security deposit into a separate account that complies with subsection (a)(1). (3) The name and address of the financial institution where the security deposit will be deposited shall be clearly and conspicuously disclosed in the written rental agreement signed by the tenant. If no written rental agreement is provided, the landlord shall within 14 days of receipt of the security deposit, notify the tenant in writing of the name and address of the financial institution where the security deposit was deposited....(b)(1) Except as provided for in subsection (b)(2), any landlord who receives a security deposit from a tenant or prospective tenant shall give said tenant or prospective tenant shall give said tenant or prospective tenant at the time of receiving such security deposit a receipt indicating the amount of such security deposit, the name of the person receiving it, and in the case of the agent, the name of the landlord for whom such security deposit is received. (c) A landlord who holds a security deposit or prepaid rent pursuant to this section for more than six months shall pay interest to the tenant accruing from the beginning date of the rental term specified in the rental agreement at the rate determined in accordance with Section 5-12-081 for the year in which the rental agreement was entered into. The landlord shall, within 30 days after the end of each 12-month rental period, pay to the tenant any interest, by cash or credit to be applied to the rent due. (d) The landlord shall, within 45 days after the date that the tenant vacates the dwelling unit or within seven days after the date that the tenant provides notice of termination of the rental agreement pursuant to Section 5-12-110(g), return to the tenant the security deposit or any balance thereof and the required interest thereon; provided, however, that the landlord, or successor landlord, may deduct from such security deposit or interest due thereon for the following: (1) Any unpaid rent which has not been validly withheld or deducted pursuant to state or federal law or ordinance; (2) A reasonable amount necessary to repair any damage caused to the premises by the tenant or any person under the tenant's control or on the premises with the tenant's consent, reasonable wear and tear excluded. In case of such damage, the landlord shall deliver or mail to the last known address of the tenant within 30 days an itemized statement of the damages allegedly caused to the premises and the estimated or actual cost for repairing or replacing each item on that statement, attaching copies of the paid receipts for the repair or replacement. If estimated cost is given, the landlord shall furnish the tenant with copies of paid receipts or a certification of actual costs of repairs of damage if the work was performed by the landlord's employees within 30 days from the date the statement showing estimated cost was furnished to the tenant. (e) In the event of a sale, lease, transfer of ownership or control or other direct or indirect disposition of residential real property by a landlord who has received a security deposit or prepaid rent from a tenant, the successor landlord of such property shall be liable to that tenant for any security deposit, including statutory interest, or prepaid rent which the tenant has paid to the transferor. The successor landlord shall, within 14 days from the date of such transfer, notify the tenant who made such security deposit by delivering or mailing to the tenant's last known address that such security deposit was transferred to the successor landlord and that the successor landlord and that the successor landlord is holding said security deposit. Such notice shall also contain the successor landlord's name, business address, and business telephone number of the successor landlord's agent, if any. The notice shall be in writing.
The transferor shall remain jointly and severally liable with the successor landlord to the tenant for such security deposit or prepaid rent, unless and until such transferor transfers said security deposit or prepaid rent to the successor landlord and provides notice, in writing, to the tenant of such transfer of said security deposit or prepaid rent, specifying the name, business address and business telephone number of the successor landlord or his agent within ten days of said transfer. (f)(1) Subject to subsection (f)(2), if the landlord fails to comply with any provision of Section 5-12-080(a)--(e), the tenant shall be awarded damages in an amount equal to two times the security deposit plus interest at a rate determined in accordance with Section 5-12-081. This subsection does not preclude the tenant from recovering other damages to which he may be entitled under this chapter 5-12-081. (2) If a landlord pays the interest on a security deposit or prepaid rent within the 30-day period provided for in subsection (c), or within the 45-day period provided for in subsection (d), whichever is applicable, but the amount of interest is deficient, the landlord shall not be liable for damages under subsection (f)(2) unless: a) the tenant gives written notice to the landlord that the amount of the interest returned was deficient; and b) within fourteen days of the receipt of the notice, the landlord fails to either: i) pay to the tenant the correct amount of interest due plus $50.00; or (ii) provide to the tenant a written response which sets forth an explanation of how the interest paid was calculated. If the tenant disagrees with the calculation of the interest, as set forth in the written response, the tenant may bring a cause of action in a court of competent jurisdiction challenging the correctness of the written response. If the court determines that the interest calculation was not accurate, the tenant shall be awarded damages in an amount equal to two times the security deposit plus interest at a rate determined in accordance with Section 5-12-081. (Prior code 193.1-8; Added Council Journal of Proceedings, November 6, 1991, page 7204; Journal of Proceedings, May 12, 2010, page 91084; Amend. Council Journal of Proceedings, July 28, 2010, pg. 97304).