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Landlord's Failure to Attach Summary of the Law to the Lease in Chicago & Cook County

Chicago RLTO Section 5-12-170 “Summary of Ordinance Attached To Rental Agreement”

Unlike the Cook County RTLO which requires just one (1) Summary to be attached to a Tenant’s rental agreement, the Chicago RLTO is more complex and comprehensive.  The Chicago RLTO Section 5-12-170 requires two (2) Summaries to be attached to a Tenant or Prospective Tenant’s lease at the time it is initially offered and renewed. 

Pursuant to Chicago RLTO Section 5-12-170 “Summary of Ordinance Attached To Rental Agreement,” a Chicago Landlord has strict obligations when initially offering a Tenant a rental agreement and when a lease is renewed.

If a Landlord violates Chicago RLTO Section 5-12-170, the Tenant has the absolute right to terminate the lease and shall recover $100.00 as a penalty.  Chicago Landlords are strictly liable here which is completely different than the Cook County RTLO Summary requirements (see below).

The following are the two (2) obligations of Chicago Landlords with respect to offering rental agreements and renewals pursuant to Chicago RLTO Section 5-12-170:

* The Landlord shall attach to the rental agreement the official and most current four (4)  age RLTO Summary from the City of Chicago;           

*The Landlord shall attach to the rental agreement the official and most current two (2) page RLTO “Separate Summary” from the City of Chicago, with the current year’s  interest rate on security deposits and the previous two (2) years interest rates. 

Cook County RTLO Sec. 42-814 “Summary Attachment To Rental Agreement”

Cook County RTLO Section 42-814 “Summary Attachment To Rental Agreement” is quite different than Chicago RLTO Section 5-12-170, and has way less bite for Cook County Tenants.

The Cook County RTLO mandates only one (1) Summary to be attached to each written rental agreement when such agreement is initially offered to any Tenant or Prospective Tenant by or on behalf of a Landlord and whether such agreement is for rental or renewal thereof. 

If the Landlord acts in violation of this section, the Tenant may terminate the rental agreement by written notice as set forth in the Section 42-810(I).  There is no strict liability here unlike the Chicago RLTO.

Pursuant to RTLO Section 42-810(I), “the tenant may exercise the right to terminate the rental agreement only if the tenant first gives the landlord a written notice of the landlord’s breach of this section and that also provides notice that the landlord must remedy the breach within two (2) business days after the tenant delivered the written notice of breach.”

If after two (2) business days the Landlord fails to respond to the written notice, the Tenant may only then terminate his or her lease by giving a date no later than thirty (30) days from the date of the notice and shall recover $200.00 as a penalty.

Lease Terminations & Summary Attached To Rental Agreement Chicago RLTO Section 5-12-170 “Summary of Ordinance Attached To Rental Agreement”

At initial offering, this Summary of the ordinance must be attached to every written rental agreement and also upon initial offering for renewal. The Summary must also be given to a tenant at initial offering of an oral agreement, whether the agreement is new or a renewal. Unless otherwise noted, all provisions are effective as of November 6, 1986. {Mun. Code Ch. 5-12-170}

IMPORTANT NOTICE
A message about porch safety: The porch or deck of this building should be designed for a live load of up to 100 lbs. per square foot, and is safe only for its intended use. Protect your safety. Do not overload the porch or deck. If you have questions about porch or deck safety, call the
City of Chicago non-emergency number, 3-1-1.

WHAT RENTAL UNITS ARE COVERED BY THE ORDINANCE? {MUN. CODE CH. 5-12-010 & 5-12-020}
• Rental units with written or oral leases (including all subsidized units such as CHA, IHDA, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, etc.)

EXCEPT
• Units in owner occupied buildings with six or fewer units.
• Units in hotels, motels, rooming houses, unless rent is paid on a monthly basis and unit is occupied for more than 32 days.
• School dormitory rooms, shelters, employee’s quarters, non-residential rental properties.
• Owner occupied co-ops and condominiums.

WHAT ARE THE TENANT’S GENERAL DUTIES UNDER THE ORDINANCE? {MUN. CODE CH. 5-12-040}
The tenant, the tenant’s family and invited guests must comply with all obligations imposed specifically upon tenants by provision of the
Municipal Code, applicable to dwelling units, including section 7-28-859:
• Buying and installing working batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors within tenant’s apartment.
• Keeping the unit safe and clean.
• Using all equipment and facilities in a reasonable manner.
• Not deliberately or negligently damaging the unit.
• Not disturbing other residents.

LANDLORD’S RIGHT OF ACCESS {MUN. CODE CH. 5-12-050}
• A tenant shall permit reasonable access to a landlord upon receiving two days notice by mail, telephone, written notice or other means designed
in good faith to provide notice.
• A general notice to all affected tenants may be given in the event repair work on common areas or other units may require such access.
• In the event of emergency or where repairs elsewhere unexpectedly require access, the landlord must provide notice within two days after
entry.

SECURITY DEPOSITS AND PREPAID RENT {MUN. CODE CH. 5-12-080 AND 5-12-081}
• A landlord must give a tenant a receipt for a security deposit including the owner’s name, the date it was received and a description of the
dwelling unit. The receipt must be signed by the person accepting the security deposit.
• However, if the security deposit is paid by means of an electronic funds transfer, the landlord has the option to give an electronic receipt. The
electronic receipt must describe the dwelling unit, state the amount and date of the deposit, and have an electronic or digital signature. (eff.
10-8-10)
• However, the landlord may accept the payment of the first month’s rent and the security deposit in one check or one electronic funds transfer
and deposit such rent and security deposit into one account, if the landlord within 5 days of such acceptance transfers the security deposit into a
separate account. (eff. 10-8-10)
• A landlord must hold all security deposits in a federally insured interest-bearing account in a financial institution located in Illinois. Security
deposits and interest thereon shall not be commingled with the assets of the landlord.
• A written rental agreement must specify the financial institution where the security deposit will be deposited. If there is no written rental agreement, the landlord must in writing provide such information to the tenant within 14 days of the receipt of the security deposit. If the security
deposit is transferred to another financial institution, the landlord must notify the tenant within 14 days of the transfer the name and address of
the new financial institution. (eff. 10-8-10)

SECURITY DEPOSITS AND PREPAID RENT {MUN. CODE CH. 5-12-080 AND 5-12-081} (cont.)
• A landlord must pay interest each year on security deposits and prepaid rent held more than six months. (eff. 1-1-92)
• The rate of interest a landlord must pay is set each year by the City Comptroller. (eff. 7-1-97)
• Before expenses for damages can be deducted from the security deposit, the landlord must provide the tenant with an itemized statement of the damages within 30 days of the date the tenant vacates the dwelling unit.
• A landlord must return all security deposits and required interest, if any, minus unpaid rent and expenses for damages, within 45 days from the date the tenant vacates the unit.
• In the event of a fire, a landlord must return all security deposit and required interest, if any, minus unpaid rent and expenses for damages, within seven days from the date that the tenant provides notice of termination of the rental agreement. (eff. 1-1-92)
• In the event of a sale or any other disposition of residential real property by a landlord, the successor landlord is liable to the tenant for any security deposit or prepaid rent paid to the original landlord. The successor landlord must notify the tenant, in writing, within 14 days from the disposition that the deposit or prepaid rent was transferred to the successor landlord. The original landlord remains liable for the deposit or prepaid rent until the original landlord transfers the deposit or prepaid rent to the successor landlord and provides proper notice of such transfer to the tenant. (Mun. Code Ch. 5-12-080 (e) eff. 5-18-10)
• Subject to correcting a deficient amount of interest paid to a tenant on a security deposit if a landlord fails to comply with specified security deposit requirements the tenant shall be awarded damages in an amount equal to two times the security deposit plus interest. (eff. 10-8-10)

WHAT ARE THE LANDLORD’S GENERAL DUTIES UNDER THE ORDINANCE?
• To give tenant written notice of the owner’s or manager’s name, address and telephone number. {Mun. Code Ch. 5-12-090}
• Within seven (7) days of being served a foreclosure complaint an owner or landlord of a premises that is the subject of the foreclosure complaint shall disclose, in writing, to all tenants of the premises that a foreclosure action has been filed. The owner or landlord shall also notify of a foreclosure suit, in writing, before a tenant signs a lease.{Mun. Code Ch. 5-12-095 eff.11-05-08}

• To give new or renewing tenants notice of:
1)Code citations issued by the City in the previous 12 months;
2)Pending Housing Court or administrative hearing actions;
3)Water, electrical or gas service shut-offs to the building during entire occupancy. {Mun. Code Ch. 5-12-100}
• To maintain the property in compliance with all applicable provisions of the Municipal Code. {Mun. Code Ch. 5-12-070}
• To not require a tenant to renew an agreement more than 90 days before the existing agreement terminates. (eff. 1-1-92)
{Mun. Code Ch. 5-12-130 (i)}
• If the rental agreement will not be renewed, or if the rental rate will be increased, to provide a tenant with at least 30 days if the tenant has occupiedn the apartment for up to six months; 60 days if the tenant has occupied the apartment for more than six months and up to three years; and 120 days if the
tenant has occupied the apartment for more than three years. (eff. 7-28-20) {Mun. Code Ch. 5-12-130 (j)}
• To not enforce prohibited lease provisions. {Mun. Code Ch. 5-12-140}
• Bed Bugs-Education. For any rental agreement for a dwelling unit entered into or renewed after the effective date of this 2013 amendatory ordinance, prior to entering into or renewing such agreement, the landlord or any person authorized to enter into such agreement on his behalf shall provide to such tenant the informational brochure on bed bug prevention and treatment prepared by the department of health pursuant to section 7-28-860. {Mun. Code Ch. 5-12-101}

TENANT REMEDIES {MUN. CODE CH. 5-12-110}
Minor Defects
• If the landlord fails to maintain the property in compliance with the Code and the tenant or the tenant’s family or guests are not responsible for the failure, the tenant may:
1)Request in writing that the landlord make repairs within 14 days, and if the landlord fails to do so the tenant may withhold an amount of rent that reasonably reflects the reduced value of the unit. Rent withholding begins from the fifteenth day until repairs are made; OR
2)Request in writing that the landlord make repairs within 14 days and if the landlord fails to do so the tenant may have the repairs made and deduct up to $500 or 1/2 of the month’s rent, whichever is more, but not to exceed one month’s rent. Repairs must be done in compliance with the Code. Receipt for the repairs must be given to the landlord and no more than the cost of the repairs can be deducted from the rent; and also
3)File suit against the landlord for damages and injunctive relief.

Major Defects
• If the landlord fails to maintain the property in compliance with the Code, and the failure renders the premises not reasonably fit and habitable, the tenant may request in writing that the landlord make repairs within 14 days. If after 14 days repairs are not made, the tenant may immediately terminate the lease. Tenant must deliver possession and move out in 30 days or tenant’s notice is considered withdrawn.
(eff. 1-1-92)

FAILURE TO PROVIDE ESSENTIAL SERVICES (HEAT, RUNNING OR HOT WATER, ELECTRICITY, GAS OR PLUMBING)
{MUN. CODE CH. 5-12-110(f)}
• If, contrary to the lease, an essential service is not provided, or if the landlord fails to maintain the building in material compliance with the Code to such an extent that such failure constitutes an immediate danger to the health and safety of the tenant, and the tenant or tenant’s family or guests are not responsible for such failure, after giving written notice, the tenant may do ONE of the following:
1)Procure substitute service, and upon presenting paid receipts to the landlord, deduct the cost from the rent; OR
2)File suit against the landlord and recover damages based on the reduced value of the dwelling unit; OR
3)Procure substitute housing and be excused from paying rent for that period. The tenant may also recover from the landlord the cost of substitute housing up to an amount equal to the monthly rent for each month or portion thereof; OR
4)Request that the landlord correct the failure within 24 hours and if the landlord fails to do so, withhold the monthly rent an amount that reason

ably reflects the reduced value of its premises. Rent withholding cannot start until after the 24 hours expires and applies only to days past the 24-hour waiting period; OR (eff. 1-1-92)
5)Request that the landlord correct the failure within 72 hours and if the landlord fails to do so, terminate the rental agreement. If the rental agreement is terminated, the tenant must deliver possession and move out within 30 days or the notice of termination is considered withdrawn. (eff. 1-1-92)
Note: Remedies 4) and 5) may not be used if the failure is due to the utility provider’s failure to provide service. For the purposes of this section only, the notice a tenant provides must be in writing, delivered to the address the landlord has given the tenant as an address to which notices should be sent. If the landlord does not inform the tenant of an address, the tenant may deliver written notice to the lastknown address of the landlord or by any other reasonable means designed in good faith to provide written notice to the landlord. (eff.1-1-92)

FIRE OR CASUALTY DAMAGE {MUN. CODE CH. 5-12-110 (g)}
• If a fire damages the unit to an extent that it is in material noncompliance with the Code and the tenant, tenant’s family or guests are not responsible for the fire or accident, the tenant may:
1)Move out immediately, but if this is done, the tenant must provide written notice to the landlord of the intention to terminate within 14 days after moving out.
2)The tenant may stay in the unit, if it is legal, but if the tenant stays and cannot use a portion of the unit because of damage, the rent may be reduced to reflect the reduced value of the unit.
3)If the tenant stays, and the landlord fails to diligently carry out the work, the tenant may notify the landlord, in writing, within 14 days after the tenant becomes aware that the work is not being diligently carried out, of the tenant’s intention to terminate the rental agreement and move out.

SUBLEASES {MUN. CODE CH. 5-12-120}
• The landlord must accept a reasonable subtenant offered by the tenant without charging additional fees.
• If a tenant moves prior to the end of the rental agreement, the landlord must make a good faith effort to find a new tenant at a fair rent.
• If the landlord is unsuccessful in re-renting the unit, the tenant remains liable for the rent under the rental agreement, as well as the landlord’s cost of advertising.

WHAT HAPPENS IF A TENANT PAYS RENT LATE?
{MUN. CODE CH. 5-12-140 (h)}
• If the tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord may charge a late fee of $10.00 per month on rents under $500 plus 5 percent per month on that part of the rent that exceeds $500.00 (i.e., for a $450.00 monthly rent the late fee is $10.00, for a $700 monthly rent the late fee is $10 plus 5% of $200.00 or $20.00 total) (eff. 1-1-92)

WHAT HAPPENS IF A TENANT PAYS RENT DUE AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THE TIME PERIOD SET FORTH IN A
TERMINATION NOTICE? {MUN. CODE CH. 5-12-140 (g) CH. 5-12-130 (g)}
• If the landlord accepts the rent due knowing that there is a default in payment, the tenant may stay.

LANDLORD REMEDIES {MUN. CODE CH. 5-12-130}
• If the tenant fails to pay rent, the landlord, after giving five days written notice to the tenant, may terminate the rental agreement. However, the tenant may remain in the unit with a rental agreement in good standing if the tenant pays the full amount of back rent and landlord court filing fees before a judge issues an order of possession. If, however, the tenant uses this provision and later receives a second written notice of nonpayment, the tenant will have only five days to pay unpaid rent.
• If the tenant fails to comply with the Code or the rental agreement, the landlord, after giving 10 days written notice to the tenant, may terminate the rental agreement if tenant fails to correct the violation.
• If the tenant fails to comply with the Code or the rental agreement, the landlord may request in writing that the tenant comply as promptly as conditions permit in the case of emergency, or within 14 days. If the breach is not corrected in the time period specified, the landlord may enter the dwelling unit and have the necessary work done. In this case, the tenant shall be responsible for all costs of repairs.

LOCKOUTS {MUN. CODE CH. 5-12-160}
This section applies to every residential rental unit in Chicago. There are no exceptions.
• It is illegal for a landlord to lock out a tenant, or change locks, or remove doors of a rental unit, or cut off heat, utility or water service, or to do anything which interferes with the tenant’s use of the apartment.
• All lockouts are illegal and the Police Department is responsible for enforcement against such illegal activity. (eff. 1-1-92) (Police Special Order 93-12)
• The landlord shall be fined $200 to $500 for each day the lockout occurs or continues.
• The tenant may sue the landlord to recover possession of the unit and twice the actual damages sustained or two months’ rent,whichever is greater.

PROHIBITION ON RETALIATORY CONDUCT BY LANDLORD {MUN. CODE CH. 5-12-150}
• A tenant has the right to complain or testify in good faith about their tenancy to governmental agencies or officials, police, media, community groups, tenant unions or the landlord. A landlord is prohibited from retaliating by terminating or threatening to terminate a tenancy, increasing rent, decreasing services, bringing or threatening to bring an eviction action, or refusing to renew a lease agreement.

ATTORNEY’S FEES {MUN. CODE CH. 5-12-180}
• Except in eviction actions, the prevailing plaintiff in any action arising from the application of this Ordinance shall be entitled torecover all court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees. (eff. 1-1-92)

WHERE CAN I GET A COPY OF THE ORDINANCE?
• For a copy of the Ordinance, visit the Office of the City Clerk, Room 107, City Hall, 121 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois or view it at the Municipal Reference Library, Harold Washington Library, 5th Floor, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, Illinois.  Approved by the City of Chicago, June 2013; Summary Revised 2020

Affidavit

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