This Ordinance applies to residences within the city of Chicago only. Please see the Exceptions to the RLTO to ensure the law applies to you. For tenants in. The Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) is the preeminent source of tenants’ rights law for those that live in the City of Chicago. To download a full copy. Most residential tenants in Chicago are protected by the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (“RLTO”), which grants many rights and remedies to .

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Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance – Know Your Rights

Tenants pursuing damages under this section are advised to have some actual evidence supporting their claim that the landlord’s non-compliance actually caused them damages, and how much. A leak probably isn’t enough. Failure to maintain exit, stairway, fire escape or directional signs where required by the municipal code.

Table of Contents Purpose of the RLTO Properties covered by RLTO Right to be free from unreasonable access Right to have the property maintained Right to a safe environment and essential services Right to vacate if there is fire or other casualty damage Right to fair treatment of security deposits Right to know the identity of the landlord or agent Right to notification of foreclosure action Right to notification of conditions affecting habitability Right to reasonable subleases Right to a fair rental agreement Right to be free from retaliation Right to be free from lock-out Right to a copy of the Summary of Ordinance Remedies for violation What is the Purpose of the RLTO?

An email will suffice. All tenants are still responsible for payment of rent and other obligations under the rental agreement. Moreover, a tenant may also: The following terms are not enforceable:.

If the failure to deliver possession of the apartment was willful, the tenant may recover the greater of two months rent or the chcago damages sustained. Failure to provide adequate hall or stairway lighting as required by the municipal code.

Failure to maintain heating facilities or gas-fired appliances in compliance with the requirements of the municipal code. Click here to request a referral. Governs the majority of residential rlt agreements in the City of Chicago. Violations on the prohibition of self-help are taken rlyo seriously. Reasonable subleases and mitigation of damages Landlords in Chicago must allow their tenants to sublease.

There are slightly varied rules when the landlord receives the deposit by electronic funds transfer. After such notice, the tenant may during the period of the landlord’s noncompliance or failure: Failure to provide smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, standpipe systems, fire alarm systems, automatic fire detectors or fire extinguishers where required by the municipal code.


The RLTO mandates that the name and address of the financial institution holding the security deposit be listed on the written lease or, if there is no written lease, be disclosed to the tenant in writing within 14 days of receipt of the security deposit.

If the landlord is attempting to lease the apartment, he must cihcago disclose the pending foreclosure action prior to the lease vhicago. The list is non-exhaustive, but tenants are advised to frame their complaints within one of the enumerated “failures” expressly mentioned.

Moreover, many landlords will react by filing an eviction, even if the tenant strictly complies with the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance. The letter must advise the chicao of the specific problems that the tenant alleges are rendering the rental unit uninhabitable. Failure to provide or maintain in good working order a flush water closet, lavatory basin, bathtub or shower, or kitchen sink. Landlords must hold security deposits in an FDIC insured interest bearing account at a bank located in the State of Illinois.

The Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance considers the following acts retaliation:. Failure to maintain stairways or porches in safe condition and sound repair.

If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall return all prepaid rent, security and interest recoverable by the tenant under Section If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall return all prepaid rent, security deposits and interest thereon in accordance with Section and tenant shall deliver possession of the dwelling unit to the rlyo within 30 days after the expiration of the hour time period specified in the notice.

Return of the security deposit The landlord must timely return the security deposit to the tenant after chicaho tenant vacates the premises or notifies the landlord of intent to vacate the unit due to casualty damage.

If the tenant notifies the landlord of the deficiency in writing and the landlord fails to correct the condition within 14 days after notification, the tenant may deduct the reasonable reduction in value from the rent for as long as the deficiency exists. The reality is that landlords cannot let their property fall into disrepair and rent out slum-like property. Failure to prevent the accumulation of garbage, trash, refuse or debris as required by the municipal code. Like everything else under this section, the amount that can be recovered must be proven reasonable.


The RLTO mandates that the following be disclosed in writing to the tenant:. Failure to maintain plumbing facilities, piping, fixtures, appurtenances and appliances in good operating condition and repair. Andy made me aware of many things in the law that I never saw despite the hours of research I did on my own previously.

Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance

Skip to main content. But that’s another story for Chicago’s political corruption. Landlords must mitigate their damages. The following actions are specifically prohibited:.

Chicago RLTO Tenant Remedies

The recently enacted Chicago Bed Bug Ordinance requires that landlords provide tenants with a bed bug brochure that outlines the responsibilities of a landlord and tenant when bedbugs are detected. If the landlord reasonably tries, but fails to find a new tenant, the old tenant is responsible for all the unpaid rent, plus the advertising costs incurred by the landlord. If the landlord violates the rental agreement or the municipal code and such violation causes an immediate danger to the health or safety of the tenant or if the landlord fails to supply heat, electricity, hot water, running water, gas or cicago, the tenant may: Failure to provide heat or hot water in such amounts and at such levels and times as required by the municipal code.

The rules are numerous.

Chicago Tenants Rights

Failure to exterminate insects, rodents or other pests. 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.

If the landlord fails to correct the defect within 14 days after being notified by the tenant in writing or as promptly as conditions require in case of emergency, the tenant may have the work done in a workmanlike manner and in compliance with existing law and building regulations and, after submitting to the landlord a paid bill from an appropriate tradesman or supplier, deduct from his or her rent the amount thereof, not to exceed the limits specified by this subsection and not to exceed the reasonable price then customarily charged for such work.

That being said, I would have liked to see the party responsible go to jail. A landlord cannot retaliate against a tenant except for violation of the lease or violation of a law or ordinance.