5-12-010 Title, Purpose And Scope
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance”, and shall be liberally construed and applied to promote its purposes and policies.
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, subject only to the limitations contained in Section 5-12-020. This chapter applies specifically to rental agreements for dwelling units operated under subsidy programs of agencies of the United States and/or the State of Illinois, including specifically programs operated or subsidized by the Chicago Housing Authority and/or the Illinois Housing Development Authority to the extent that this chapter is not in direct conflict with statutory or regulatory provisions governing such programs.
(Prior code § 193.1-1; Added Coun. J. 9-8-86, p. 33771; Amend Coun. J. 11-6-91, p. 7196; Amend Coun. J. 3-31-04, p. 20916, § 3.22)
Rental of the following dwelling units shall not be governed by this chapter, unless the rental agreement thereof is created to avoid the application of this chapter:
(Prior code § 193.1-2; Added Coun. J. 9-8-86, p. 33771; Corrected. 9-12-86, p. 33919; Amend Coun. J. 11-6-91, p. 7196; Amend Coun. J. 9-4-03, p. 7118, § 8; Amend Coun. J. 6-11-08, p. 29114, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 7-22-20, p. 18933, § 1)
Whenever used in this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:
5-12-040 Tenant Responsibilities
Every tenant must:
5-12-050 Landlord’s Right Of Accesss
A tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter the dwelling unit:
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. If access is required because of repair work for common facilities or other apartments, a general notice may be given by the landlord to all potentially affected tenants that entry may be required. 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 landlord may enter only at reasonable times except in case of an emergency. An entry between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. or at any other time expressly requested by the tenant shall be presumed reasonable.
(Prior code § 193.1-5; Added Coun. J. 9-8-86, p. 33771; Amend Coun. J. 11-6-91, p. 7196)
5-12-060 Remedies For Improper Denial Of Access
5-12-070 Landlord’s Responsibility To Maintain
5-12-080 Security Deposits
(2) Upon payment of the security deposit by means of an electronic funds transfer, the landlord shall give the tenant a receipt that complies with subsection (b)(1), or an electronic receipt that acknowledges the receipt of the security deposit. The electronic receipt shall set forth the date of the receipt of the security deposit, the amount of the deposit, a description of the dwelling unit and an electronic or digital signature, as those terms are defined in 5 ILCS 175/5-105, of the person receiving the deposit.
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.
(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:
(Prior code § 193.1-8; Added Coun. J. 9-8-86, p. 33771; Corrected. 9-12-86, p. 33919; Amend Coun. J. 11-6-91, p. 7196; Amend Coun. J. 5-14-97, p. 45166; Amend Coun. J. 3-31-04, p. 20916, § 3.23; Amend Coun. J. 5-12-10, p. 91084, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 7-28-10, p. 97304, § 1)
5-12-081 Interest Rate On Security Deposits
5-12-082 Interest Rate Notification
5-12-090 Identification Of Owner And Agents
A landlord or any person authorized to enter into an oral or written rental agreement on the landlord’s behalf shall disclose to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy the name, address, and telephone number of:
The information required to be furnished by this section shall be kept current and this section extends to and is enforceable against any successor landlord, owner, or manager.
If the landlord fails to comply with this section, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement pursuant to the notice provisions of Section 5-12-110(a). If the landlord fails to comply with the requirements of this section after receipt of written notice pursuant to Section 5-12-110(a), the tenant shall recover one month’s rent or actual damages, whichever is greater.
(Prior code § 193.1-9; Added Coun. J. 9-8-86, p. 33771; Corrected. 9-12-86, p. 33919; Amend Coun. J. 11-6-91, p. 7196)s
5-12-095 Tenants’ Notification Of Foreclosure Action
The written disclosure shall include the court in which the foreclosure action is pending, the case name, and case number and shall include the following language:
“This is not a notice to vacate the premise. This notice does not mean ownership of the building has changed. All tenants are still responsible for payment of rent and other obligations under the rental agreement. The owner or landlord is still responsible for their obligations under the rental agreement. You shall receive additional notice if there is a change in owner.”
(Added Coun. J. 10-8-08, p. 39857, § 2)
5-12-100 Notice Of Conditions Affecting Habitability
Before a tenant initially enters into or renews a rental agreement for a dwelling unit, the landlord or any person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on his behalf shall disclose to the tenant in writing:
(a) Any code violations which have been cited by the City of Chicago during the previous 12 months for the dwelling unit and common areas and provide notice of the pendency of any code enforcement litigation or administrative hearing proceeding pursuant to Section 14A-3-301.2.2 of this Code affecting the dwelling unit or common area. The notice shall provide the case number of the litigation and/or the identification number of the administrative hearing proceeding and a listing of any code violations cited.
(Prior code § 193.1-10; Added Coun. J. 9-8-86, p. 33771; Corrected. 9-12-86, p. 33919; Amend Coun. J. 11-6-91, p. 7196; Amend Coun. J. 4-10-19, p. 100029, Art. II, § 82)
5-12-101 Bed Bugs – Education
5-12-110 Tenant Remedies
In addition to any remedies provided under federal law, a tenant shall have the remedies specified in this section under the circumstances herein set forth.
For purposes of this section, material noncompliance with Section 5-12-070 shall include, but is not limited to, any of the following circumstances:
Failure to maintain the structural integrity of the building or structure or parts thereof;
Failure to maintain floors in compliance with the safe load-bearing requirements of the municipal code;
Failure to comply with applicable requirements of the municipal code for the number, width, construction, location or accessibility of exits;
Failure to maintain exit, stairway, fire escape or directional signs where required by the municipal code;
Failure to provide smoke alarms, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, standpipe systems, fire alarm systems, automatic fire detectors or fire extinguishers where required by the municipal code;
Failure to maintain elevators in compliance with applicable provisions of the municipal code;
Failure to provide or maintain in good working order a flush water closet, lavatory basin, bathtub or shower, or kitchen sink;
Failure to maintain heating facilities or gas-fired appliances in compliance with the requirements of the municipal code;
Failure to provide heat or hot water in such amounts and at such levels and times as required by the municipal code;
Failure to provide hot and cold running water as required by the municipal code;
Failure to provide adequate hall or stairway lighting as required by the municipal code;
Failure to maintain the foundation, exterior walls or exterior roof in sound condition and repair, substantially watertight and protected against rodents;
Failure to maintain floors, interior walls or ceilings in sound condition and good repair;
Failure to maintain windows, exterior doors or basement hatchways in sound condition and repair and substantially tight and to provide locks or security devices as required by the municipal code, including deadlatch locks, deadbolt locks, sash or ventilation locks, and front door windows or peepholes;
Failure to supply screens where required by the municipal code;
Failure to maintain stairways or porches in safe condition and sound repair;
Failure to maintain the basement or cellar in a safe and sanitary condition;
Failure to maintain facilities, equipment or chimneys in safe and sound working condition;
Failure to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water;
Failure to exterminate insects, rodents or other pests;
Failure to supply or maintain facilities for refuse disposal;
Failure to prevent the accumulation of garbage, trash, refuse or debris as required by the municipal code;
Failure to provide adequate light or ventilation as required by the municipal code;
Failure to maintain plumbing facilities, piping, fixtures, appurtenances and appliances in good operating condition and repair;
Failure to provide or maintain electrical systems, circuits, receptacles and devices as required by the municipal code;
Failure to maintain and repair any equipment which the landlord supplies or is required to supply; or
Failure to maintain the dwelling unit and common areas in a fit and habitable condition.
If a person’s failure to deliver possession is wilful, an aggrieved person may recover from the person withholding possession an amount not more than two months’ rent or twice the actual damages sustained by him, whichever is greater.
For purposes of mechanics’ lien laws, repairs performed or materials furnished pursuant to this subsection shall not be construed as having been performed or furnished pursuant to authority of or with permission of the landlord.
(Prior code § 193.1-11; Added Coun. J. 9-8-86, p. 33771; Corrected. 9-12-86, p. 33919; Amend Coun. J. 11-6-91, p. 7196; Amend Coun. J. 9-6-17, p. 55278, Art. VI, § 5)
5-12-130 Landlord Remedies
Every landlord shall have the remedies specified in this section for the following circumstances:
If the tenant abandons the dwelling unit, the landlord shall make a good faith effort to re-rent it at a fair rental, which shall be the rent charged for comparable dwelling units in the premises or in the same neighborhood. If the landlord succeeds in re- renting the dwelling unit at a fair rental, the tenant shall be liable for the amount by which the rent due from the date of abandonment to the termination of the initial rental agreement exceeds the fair rental subsequently received by the landlord from the date of abandonment to the termination of the initial rental agreement. If the landlord makes a good faith effort to re-rent the dwelling unit at a fair rental and is unsuccessful, the tenant shall be liable for the rent due for the period of the rental agreement. The tenant shall also be liable for the reasonable advertising expenses and reasonable redecoration costs incurred by the landlord pursuant to this subsection.
5-12-140 Rental Agreement
Except as otherwise specifically provided by this chapter, no rental agreement may provide that the landlord or tenant:
Agrees to waive or forego rights, remedies or obligations provided under this chapter;
Agrees to the limitation of any liability of the landlord or tenant arising under law;
Agrees to waive any written termination of tenancy notice or manner of service thereof provided under state law or this chapter;
Agrees to waive the right of any party to a trial by jury;
Agrees that in the event of a lawsuit arising out of the tenancy the tenant will pay the landlord’s attorney’s fees except as provided for by court rules, statute, or ordinance;
Agrees that either party may cancel or terminate a rental agreement at a different time or within a shorter time period than the other party, unless such provision is disclosed in a separate written notice;
Agrees that a tenant shall pay a charge, fee or penalty in excess of $10.00 per month for the first $500.00 in monthly rent plus five percent per month for any amount in excess of $500.00 in monthly rent for the late payment of rent;
A provision prohibited by this section included in a rental agreement is unenforceable. The tenant may recover actual damages sustained by the tenant because of the enforcement of a prohibited provision. If the landlord attempts to enforce a provision in a rental agreement prohibited by this section the tenant may recover two months’ rent.
(Prior code § 193.1-14; Added Coun. J. 9-8-86, p. 33771; Corrected. 9-12-86, p. 33919; Amend Coun. J. 11-6-91, p. 7196)
5-12-150 Prohibition On Retaliatory Conduct By Landlord
It is declared to be against public policy of the City of Chicago for a landlord to take retaliatory action against a tenant, except for violation of a rental agreement or violation of a law or ordinance. A landlord may not knowingly terminate a tenancy, increase rent, decrease services, bring or threaten to bring a lawsuit against a tenant for possession or refuse to renew a lease or tenancy because the tenant has in good faith:
Sought the assistance of a community organization or the news media to remedy a code violation or illegal landlord practice; or
Becomes a member of a tenant’s union or similar organization; or
Testified in any court or administrative proceeding concerning the condition of the premises; or
Exercised any right or remedy provided by law.
If the landlord acts in violation of this section, the tenant has a defense in any retaliatory action against him for possession and is entitled to the following remedies: he shall recover possession or terminate the rental agreement and, in either case, recover an amount equal to and not more than two months’ rent or twice the damages sustained by him, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorneys’ fees. If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall return all security and interest recoverable under Section 5-12-080 and all prepaid rent. In an action by or against the tenant, if there is evidence of tenant conduct protected herein within one year prior to the alleged act of retaliation, that evidence shall create a rebuttable presumption that the landlord’s conduct was retaliatory. The presumption shall not arise if the protected tenant activity was initiated after the alleged act of retaliation.
(Prior code § 193.1-15; Added Coun. J. 9-8-86, p. 33771; Amend Coun. J. 11-6-91, p. 7196)
5-12-160 Prohibition On Interruption Of Tenant Occupancy By Landlord
It is unlawful for any landlord or any person acting at his direction knowingly to oust or dispossess or threaten or attempt to oust or dispossess any tenant from a dwelling unit without authority of law, by plugging, changing, adding or removing any lock or latching device; or by blocking any entrance into said unit; or by removing any door or window from said unit; or by interfering with the services to said unit; including but not limited to electricity, gas, hot or cold water, plumbing, heat or telephone service; or by removing a tenant’s personal property from said unit; or by the removal or incapacitating of appliances or fixtures, except for the purpose of making necessary repairs; or by the use or threat of force, violence or injury to a tenant’s person or property; or by any act rendering a dwelling unit or any part thereof or any personal property located therein inaccessible or uninhabitable. The foregoing shall not apply where:
A landlord acts in compliance with the laws of Illinois pertaining to forcible entry and detainer and engages the sheriff of Cook County to forcibly evict a tenant or his personal property; or
A landlord interferes temporarily with possession only as necessary to make needed repairs or inspection and only as provided by law; or
Whenever a complaint of violation of this provision is received by the Chicago Police Department, the department shall investigate and determine whether a violation has occurred. Any person found guilty of violating this section shall be fined not less then $200.00 nor more than $500.00, and each day that such violation shall occur or continue shall constitute a separate and distinct offense for which a fine as herein provided shall be imposed. If a tenant in a civil legal proceeding against his landlord establishes that a violation of this section has occurred he shall be entitled to recover possession of his dwelling unit or personal property and shall recover an amount equal to not more than two months’ rent or twice the actual damages sustained by him, whichever is greater. A tenant may pursue any civil remedy for violation of this section regardless of whether a fine has been entered against the landlord pursuant to this section.
(Prior code § 193.1-16; Added Coun. J. 9-8-86, p. 33771; Amend Coun. J. 11-6-91, p. 7196)
5-12-170 Summary Of Ordinance Attached To Rental Agreement
5-12-180 Attorney’s Fees
5-12-190 Rights And Remedies Under Other Laws