Appellate court upholds attorney’s fee award for tenant CRLTO counterclaims

llwasteTenants are entitled to attorney’s fees when the prevail in Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance claims

The Illinois First District Appellate Court issued an opinion in the case of Shadid v. Sims involving a case of first impression (ie. there was no existing published case law on this) regarding whether or not tenants who prevail in a counterclaim predicated upon CRLTO claims are entitled to recover their attorney’s fees. Continue reading

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Supreme Court upholds disparate impact claims in Fair Housing cases

dispimpSplit court determines disparate impact cases are legal in fair housing

In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court upheld the concept of using disparate impact to prove housing discrimination.  Low-income housing advocates “The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.” alleged fair housing violations based upon disparate impact against the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for distributing low-income housing tax credits in a way that perpetuated racial segregation. Continue reading

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Cook County Assessor pursues Landlords with Notice of Discovery

exemptlabelA number of real property owners across Cook County have been surprised to receive a “Notice of Discovery” from Cook County Assessor Joseph Barrios.  The notice informs property owners that the Assessor’s Office believes the property owner may have received one or more improper homeowner exemptions.  Basically, the assessor is letting owners know that the assessor’s office will be looking into whether or not improper exemptions were taken and if they were, the assessor will be collecting!

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Proposed law seeks to impose penalties on landlords for tenant crimes

crimesceneIRPOA urges landlords to contact their representatives

Senate Bill 1547 has passed the Illinois Senate and is being debated in committee tomorrow at 10am in the Illinois House Judiciary Committee.  The Illinois Rental Property Owners Association is asking landlords to contact their representatives to oppose this legislation.  The proposed legislation seeks to allow municipalities to penalize landlords for the “underlying criminal conduct” of their tenants.  Penalties can include fees or fines, revocation, suspension or nonrenewal of a rental permit or license, termination or denial of subsidized housing contracts, and termination or nonrenewal of leases. Continue reading

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Eviction cases and municipal districts

Right now, there is a bit of a change going on in the Cook County eviction world.  There was a time where any case in Cook County could be brought in the First District downtown (ie. at the Daley Center).  What I believe was an improperly decided foreclosure case seems to suggest that eviction cases must be brought in the smallest judicial subdivision located nearest the property in question.  As a result, eviction attorneys have moved more and more to bringing their suburban cases in the local municipal district.  That is, an eviction in Arlington Heights that could have been brought in the 1st district downtown is now being pursued in the 3rd district courthouse in Rolling Meadows.

As a result, because of our present caseload and the proximity of the collar district courthouses to our office, we are now only accepting engagements to represent clients with issues arising in the First (Chicago at the Daley Center), Second (northern suburban cases at the Skokie courthouse), and third (northwest suburban cases at the Rolling Meadows courthouse) Districts of Cook County.

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Speaking at Chicago Title Seminar 3/5

I am excited to be speaking at a CLE seminar for Chicago Title Insurance Company tomorrow on CRLTO futility and the recent case Boyer v. Buol Properties.

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Chicago to continue pursuit of bad landlords

newlawChicago’s Tenant Protection Ordinance is Powerful.

In case you missed it, back in January, the City of Chicago passed the Eri’ana Patton Smith and Coleman/Clark Kids Tenant Protection Ordinance.  The Ordinance aims to keep bad landlords from doing more business in the City and establishes new and greater fines for building code scofflaws.  Besides incorporating a number of new tenant protections, and prohibiting problem landlords from getting permits or receiving zoning changes, the most visible result is that the City will now publicize a list of the “worst landlords”.  Beginning next month, the City will have the authority to fine a landlord between $500 and $1000 per day under the new law and “problem landlords” will be ineligible to do business with the City, to obtain business licenses, permits, or zoning changes.  Continue reading

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Dream Town Realty CRLTO Seminar

dreamtownI am often humbled by the support I receive from the fabulous community of educated real estate agents in the City of Chicago.  I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to present educational seminars on landlord-tenant topics to some of the creme-de-la-creme of Chicago’s real estate elite.  I regularly present to @properties, Dream Town Realty, Jameson Sotheby’s, and Coldwell Banker offices. Continue reading

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At long last, the CRLTO Interest Rate Summary for 2015 is Available!

chalkFINALLY! CITY ISSUES FORM.

I guess landlords were getting good at making their own forms in January to reflect the new rate of interest on security deposits.  Luckily, the City of Chicago has finally released its interest rate summary required by Section 5-12-170 of the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO).  The summary (linked here) must be attached to all new and renewal leases executed in 2015.

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Chicago #1 for Bedbugs Third Year in a Row

chibb2Those bebbugs must be doing something right!

The mayor will not be happy.  And maybe we have the start of a narrative about how legislation cannot fix all that ails us.  For the third year in a row, Chicago tops the charts in bedbugs.  Orkin has issued its annual “worst bedbug cities” list.  Despite passage of a sweeping and unbelievably pro-tenant ordinance making landlords clean up the mess caused by bedbugs and keep the proof on top of it.  Apparently, the bedbugs have not taken notice.  Chicago tops Detroit as the worst (or best) place for bedbugs (depending on whether you are human or a bedbug).  I’m sure we will see more on this as time goes on.

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