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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Terminating a tenancy; Increasing rent; Decreasing services; Bringing or threatening to bring a lawsuit against a tenant for possession; and Refusal to renew a lease.

Under Illinois state law it needs to be sent certified mail, but under the RLTO it need only be in writing. The landlord shall return prepaid rent, the security deposit and interest as well as any portion of rent attributable to a portion of the term after the casualty. This notification must take place within 14 days after the transfer and must disclose the name and address of the institution now holding the deposit.

Give the landlord written notice of the acts or omissions that violate the RLTO or the lease and specifying that the lease will terminate 14 days after receipt of the notice if the landlord does not remedy the conditions. The tenant must give the landlord at least 14 days in the letter to fix the problem before the tenant takes any action.

Failure to provide smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, standpipe systems, fire alarm systems, automatic fire detectors or fire extinguishers where required by the municipal code. Moreover, many landlords will react by filing an eviction, even if the tenant strictly complies with the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance.

Andy made me aware of many things in the law that I never saw despite the hours of research I did on my xhicago previously. The City of Chicago has barred what it believes are abusive terms.

Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) | Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing

If the tenant proceeds under this subsection fhe may not proceed under subsections c or d. Tenants can rlyo make repairs and replacements at their own expense, and deduct those costs from their next-month’s rent, if the landlord has not fixed the problem in the 14 days allowed by the tenant’s written notice. Landlords have a duty to maintain under the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance.


Violations on the prohibition of self-help are taken very seriously. In many places, like the suburbs, landlords place very harsh terms in their leases and there is nothing preventing that conduct.

The landlord may not deduct money from the security deposit for normal wear and tear. The Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance considers the following acts retaliation:. If you are interested in consulting a lawyer for representation in one of those areas, please contact us.

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 lrto know the identity of the landlord or agent Right dlto 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.

The tenant must deliver possession to the chiczgo within 30 days and the landlord shall return the security deposit, unpaid rent and interest. Tenants are advised for practical reasons to send the written notice some way that provides cihcago tenant with proof of mailing or delivery. A landlord may specifically not retaliate against a tenant if the tenant did any of the following in good faith:. Failure to maintain elevators in compliance with applicable provisions of the municipal code. Whether a defect is serious enough or not will ultimately be up to a judge or a jury.

If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall return all prepaid rent, security and interest recoverable by the tenant under Section The ordinance also serves to set forth rights that cannot be overridden by a lease written by an chicagl landlord.

When a landlord does not deliver possession of the unit in habitable condition at the beginning of the lease term the rent abates and the tenant has two chicaago Failure to maintain the structural integrity of the building or structure or parts thereof.

Chicago RLTO Tenant Remedies

The remedies provided for violation of the duty to maintain the property are among the most complicated in the RLTO and all tenants should consult with an attorney before attempting to exercise their rights as landlords often seek to evict or sue tenants when they do. In dhicago 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 violates this section of the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance, the tenant has the following remedies:.

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Chivago download a full copy of the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance, click here.

Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO)

If the landlord does not fix chciago problem, the lease terminates and the tenant must vacate the unit within 30 days. In fact, Illinois law generally does not allow a landlord to evict someone without a court order.

As noted above, there are many remedies available to tenants when their landlord violates the law. If there is material noncompliance cicago the landlord with the rental agreement or with Sectionthe tenant may notify the landlord in writing of the tenant’s intention to withhold from the monthly rent an amount which reasonably reflects the reduced value of the premises due to the material noncompliance.

Failure to maintain exit, stairway, fire escape or directional signs where required by the municipal code. Chicafo a landlord does not deliver possession of the apartment in accordance with the rental agreement, the tenant does not have to rkto rent and may choose to take the following action:. The landlord may access the unit only during reasonable times, defined as 8: That being said, I would have liked to see the party responsible go to jail.

Only if the landlord fails to remedy the problem within the 14 or more days specified in the notice can the tenant withhold a reasonable amount of rent from their next rental payment, rlro terminate the lease.

If you chicaho questions about some other type of dispute, I hope this guide can be of help. Statutory damages in multiples of rent or the security deposit; The right to terminate the lease; The right to sue for actual damages; The right to withhold rent; The right to make repairs; The right to possession; and Attorney fees and court costs.

It’s a hard thing to deal with – the reality that, had a street pole not been there, I would be dead.