A. Whenever used in this Article, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:
1. Dwelling unit means a structure or part of a structure that is used as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one or more persons who maintain a household together, with the common areas and all housing services, privileges, furnishings, and facilities supplied in connection with the use or occupancy thereof, including garage and parking facilities. A dwelling unit includes a mobile or manufactured home where the tenant has entered into a rental agreement to reside in the home. Where a dwelling unit is also governed by the Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Rights Act, 765 ILCS 745 et seq. [MHLTRA], this Article shall augment and not replace the rights of both landlords and tenants as set out in the MHLTRA. Where there is a direct conflict between the provisions of this Article and the MHLTRA, this Article shall take precedent except for the following sections of the MHLTRA which shall remain as the governing provisions: Section 6-Obligation of Park Owner to Offer Written Lease; Section 8-Renewal of Lease; and Section 9.5- Abandoned or Repossessed Properties. Section 42-811 of this Article (Security Deposit) shall supersede, in its entirety, Section 18 of the MHLTRA (Security Deposit; Interest) in its entirety.
2. Harass or harassing means knowing conduct which is not necessary to accomplish a purpose reasonable under the circumstances that would cause a reasonable person emotional distress to the tenant and does cause emotional distress to another.
3. Landlord means the owner, agent, lessor, sublessor, or the successor in interest of any of them of a dwelling unit or the building of which it is part.
4. Move-in fee means the fee that a landlord charges to a tenant that is reasonably related to the landlord’s cost for a tenant moving into the dwelling unit including, but not limited to, additional security costs or additional trash removal.
5. Owner means one or more persons, jointly or severally, in whom is vested all or part of the legal title to property, or all or part of the beneficial ownership, and a right to present use and enjoyment of the premises including a mortgagee in possession.
6. Owner-occupied means that the residential building, or at least a portion or one unit thereof, condominium, or cooperative, is occupied by the owner of the residential building as their principal residence.
7. Person means an individual, corporation, government, governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership or association, or any other legal or commercial entity, unless otherwise expressly excluded. 8. Premises means the dwelling unit, and the structure of which it is a part, facilities and appurtenances therein, and grounds, areas, and facilities held out for the use of tenants.
8. Rent means all payments to be made to the landlord under the rental agreement. When it is used as a determination of damages, and the tenant has a subsidized rent, such as a Housing Choice Voucher, “rent” shall mean the full market rent, not the tenant rent based on income.
9. Rental Agreement or lease means a written or oral agreement, and any valid rules and regulations adopted pursuant to subsection 808(C), embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises.
10. Security deposit means funds provided to a landlord to secure payment or performance of a tenant’s obligations under a rental agreement, or the obligations of the tenant for its guests or pets, and the identifiable proceeds of the funds, however denominated. The term does not include rent or fees.
11. Tenant means a person entitled, by written or oral agreement, subtenancy approved by the landlord, or by sufferance, to occupy a dwelling unit to the exclusion of others.
12. Written Notice means communications in writing shared as handwritten, typed, or printed documents, mailed documents, or electronically mailed or messaged documents.
Pursuant to RTLO Section 42-803(1), “mobile homes” are now covered by the same kind of protections as apartments in Cook County, Illinois. This is a big deal for mobile home owners and renters.
In order to be “owner-occupied” under the Cook County RTLO Section 42-803(6), the owner of the residential building must use it as their “principal residence.” The owner must actually live there to be excluded under the Cook County RTLO – this is very different than the Chicago RLTO which makes no distinction.
Cook County RTLO Section 42-803(10) expressly states the definition of “Security Deposit” under the Ordinance.
Pursuant to RTLO Section 42-803(11), “Written Notice” expressly includes emails. No such distinction exists in the Chicago RLTO.