City clarifies confusion about CRLTO summary

Chicago clarifies about CRLTO summaryChicago Landlords Catch A Break

In April, I reported being disturbed to find that the City of Chicago had updated their “Rents Right” website sometime recently to include a CRLTO summary purporting to have been approved in 2013.  My concern was that landlords using the July 2010 summary might be out of compliance with the ordinance despite the June, 2013 ordinance summary not being made widely available. Continue reading

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HUD issues fair housing “guidance” on landlord use of criminal background checks

stupidNot good news for Chicago landlords

April is fair housing month and to celebrate, the Office of the General Counsel of HUD has released “Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records by Providers of Housing and Real Estate-Related Transactions“.  This little ditty is a wonderful little gift to landlords throughout Chicagoland!  If you think that the application of fair housing to landlord screening procedures was hard before, just wait until you get a load of this one.  Unfortunately, folks, it’s the law (or at least, it’s HUD’s position on how the law will be enforced) and you need only head over to their website to see gleeful press releases related to big dollar settlements with landlords for fair housing violations to see the logical result of noncompliance.  This law applies to private landlords as well as public housing entities.  This one is going to get a bit long, so buckle up. Continue reading

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New CRLTO Summary Available

Chicago landlord alert

The City of Chicago has placed a NEW version of the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance Summary on its “Chicago Rents Right” website.  The summary is somewhat concerning in that it purports to have been approved in June, 2013.  Interestingly, to my knowledge, the July 2010 version was still available on the City’s website as recently as last month (maybe even last week!  I’m making efforts to find out).  I am wondering if the City of Chicago’s website team has been in a time warp for the last three years because if this was approved in 2013 (which would make sense as that’s when the bedbug law was passed and that’s the change to the summary), it was most certainly not made available generally on the website until 2016!  In any event, for any lease executed beginning today, landlords should use the June, 2013 version!  Landlords should no longer use the July, 2010 version.  Failure to use the new version of the ordinance summary (along with the entire security deposit interest rate disclosure for 2016 in both English and Spanish) will subject landlords with tenancies covered by the CRLTO to penalties under Section 5-12-170 of the ordinance.

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Quick Tip for 1st District Filers

judgeJudicial conference results in small new eviction case delays

The Cook County First District (downtown) eviction judges will be participating in a judicial conference during the week of April 4-8, 2016, so landlords filing eviction actions this week at the Daley Center looking for a two week court date will find that they are not going to be able to get a two week date.  Court will still be on but with a short staff, so eviction cases already scheduled will continue during that week.  Things should get back to normal shortly after that.

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Had a fun morning teaching @properties agents

atsemIt is always great to get the opportunity to speak to a classroom full of @properties agents.  Thanks for taking the time to listen to my information about the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance.  Hopefully the folks in attendance enjoyed it and learned something as well.  Remember – watch out for those security deposits!

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Rich Magnone quoted in Cook County Record Article on CRLTO

interviewIntricacies of the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance Subject of Interview

I was recently interviewed in the Cook County Record regarding the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance and the difficulties faced by landlords trying to comply with its requirements.  Readers of this blog will not find all that much new from me.  I think the ordinance is harsh.  I think the ordinance is full of language that should be more specific.  I think that “part time”, “forced into this by the market”, or “reluctant” landlords should not be playing the game and would be better off selling their property.   The current state of the law in Chicago is that only the most serious landlords should be in the game in this city.

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Amendment to Chicago Fair Housing approved by Committee on Human Relations and new tenant right to claim retaliation

veteran status and fair housing ChicagoLaw expands protected class to veterans and adds right to retaliation claim for any fair housing proceeding

Yesterday, the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Human Relations approved an amendment to the Chicago Fair Housing and Human Rights Ordinance proposed by Mayor Emanuel making military status a protected class.  The intent of the amendment is to prohibit discrimination against members of the military in housing and employment.  The text of the original amendment as proposed can be found on the website of the City Clerk.  Based upon reports from the Chicago Sun Times, there were changes made to the original amendment before it was approved but those are not yet available online. Continue reading

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Landlord Trend: Government required tenant checks

EnglishflagForeign law may make its way to America

I want to alert landlords to a disturbing trend that has hit European landlords and could hop the pond.  Probably in response to refugees and/or immigrants, England passed, as part of its Immigration Act of 2014,  a law known as “right to rent“.  I know, my readers are already thinking – this must be a pro-tenant law.  Maybe a tenant’s bill of rights or something like that?  Nope.  Just the opposite.  Instead, English landlords are being required to perform what amount to immigration checks on their tenants.  Continue reading

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Thirty Day Notice for February

calWhen a tenant has an oral month to month lease or tenancy, the appropriate way to terminate it is via the service of a thirty day notice.  The notice is not well named.  One could mistakenly believe that the notice just sets forth that “thirty days from now, the tenant needs to vacate”.  It isn’t that easy.  The thirty day notice has to terminate on the last day of a tenancy period.  For calendar month tenancies, that means the last day of the month.  The notice needs to be served at least 30 days prior to that date.  So, for a month like January with 31 days, the notice needs to be in the tenant’s hands on or before January 1.  For a month like April with 30 days, the notice needs to be in the tenant’s hands on the last day of the prior month (ie. March 31).  Then we get to February which always throws us for a curve.  In a normal February, to get the requisite thirty days, the notice needs to be served on or before the 29th of January.  Because we have a leap year, landlords get an extra day – to terminate as of February 29, 2016, landlords can serve the notice as late as January 30, 2016.  Enjoy that extra day!

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No Cook County evictions in this cold weather!

mapThe repercussions of cold weather could be far reaching.

I don’t want to state the obvious, but landlords should keep in mind that the Cook County Sheriff is ordered by the Circuit Court of Cook County not to evict tenants when the outside weather is below 15 degrees Fahrenheit.  Continue reading

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