2012 Landlord-Tenant Year In Review

Chicago Illinois landlord tenant year in review 20122012 It was generally a good year for Chicago landlords.  Rents increased and vacancy rates were low.  Compared to 2010 and 2011 when there was a high amount of landlord-tenant legislative activity, 2012 was a pretty tame year for landlords.  Although a number of bills were presented to the Illinois legislature, not many new laws were passed,  Similarly, at the County and the municipal level, there was lots of smoke related to Cook County’s attempt to require landlords to accept Section 8 tenants.  In Chicago, the city counsel proposed protections for tenants affected by foreclosure and municipalities like Skokie and Evanston worked on toughening their landlord registration and inspection requirements, but none of the measures passed.

At the state level, one small amendment was made to the Illinois Security Deposit Return Act.  Taking effect effect on January 1, 2013, the legislature made a small amendment to allow for the delivery of correspondence via electronic means.

For Chicago landlords affected by the life safety ordinance, new disclosure requirements went into effect mid-year.

There was one large change at the Cook County Circuit Court.  Judge Sheldon Garber stepped down after his long tenure as chief judge of the forcible entry and detainer department.  He was replaced by Judge Leonard Murray who is a longtime veteran on the eviction floor.

On the federal law front, the biggest change for landlords for 2013 will be the new tax laws on investment income that will affect many landlords.  Landlords selling their rental properties need to be especially careful.  2013 might be the year that Section 1031 tax-free exchanges take off again in the post-real-estate-bubble world.

Stay tuned in the next few days and I will be posting the 2013 interest rates for Chicago and Illinois security deposit interest.  Happy new year!

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2 Responses to 2012 Landlord-Tenant Year In Review

  1. Are You KIDDING Me? says:

    Life Safety Evaluations? Another disclosure? Now that we cannot accept security deposits, can we charge a $500 move-in fee to comply with all of this stuff?

    This requires time and costs money for each new lease and each renewal to have to go through all of this.

    I was charging around $250 move-in fee, but I cannot keep jumping through all of these hoops to rent.

    • Richard Magnone says:

      Keep in mind that the life safety disclosure does not apply to all properties – only those covered by that ordinance. The disclosure requirement actually began in July of 2012.

      As for non-refundable charges, many are legal and some are not. It really depends on what the charge is for and how the landlord applies the rule. Proper drafting and implementation of a non-refundable fee is important.