Chicago is one of the most tenant-friendly cities in the country, thanks to the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO). The ordinance was passed in 2003 and provides a range of protections and rights for renters in the city. The rights provided by the ordinance make it much easier for renters to protect themselves against unfair and exploitative practices by landlords.
The rights provided by the Chicago Tenants Ordinance are particularly strong, as they are enforced by the city and can be enforced by tenants in court. This means that landlords who violate the ordinance can be held accountable and can be required to pay damages to the tenant.
The Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) provides the following rights to renters:
• Right to Privacy: Landlords must provide 24 hours notice before entering a rental unit, except in cases of emergency.
• Right to Make Repairs and Deduct Cost from Rent: Tenants have the right to make repairs and deduct the cost of the repairs from the rent, provided the cost does not exceed one month’s rent.
• Right to Withhold Rent: Tenants have the right to withhold rent if the landlord fails to make necessary repairs.
• Right to Know the Name and Address of the Landlord: Landlords must provide the name and address of the landlord in writing to the tenant.
• Right to Access the Rental Property: Tenants have the right to access the rental property, provided they give 24 hours notice.
• Right to Non-Retaliation: Landlords are prohibited from retaliating against tenants who exercise their rights.
• Right to Written Notice Before Raising Rent: Landlords must provide written notice before raising rent.
What to do if you feel your rights are being infringed upon?
If you feel that your landlord is violating the RLTO, here are some things you can do:
- Call the Chicago Department of Housing (CHA) to file a complaint at 312.744.3653. Additional information.
- Call your rental agent. Our agents are trained in resolving landlord issues for their clients.
- Contact a tenant attorney.