That silly little summary of the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance that needs to be attached to every lease governed by the CRLTO. It’s no big deal, right?
Wrong. Class action attorneys at JS Law have filed a case against Mac Property Management LLC that we will be watching closely. The case was brought in the chancery department of the Circuit Court of Cook County under case 2017CH13659. The suit alleges that the landlord failed to attach the CRTLO summary to a tenant’s lease and the leases of other tenants and seeks to certify a class.
Section 5-12-170 of the CRLTO requires landlords to attach certain summaries to a tenant’s lease. Failure to comply with the section exposes a landlord to a $100 penalty. The problem is not $100. The problem is the fee shifting provision of Section 5-12-180 that provides a tenant can recover attorney’s fees when prevailing in an action against the landlord to enforce their rights under the ordinance.
A few silly pieces of paper can cost a landlord major dollars! I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty certain that the attorneys fees in class actions can be costly. Landlords who violate the ordinance for all of their units are particularly exposed to a tenant seeking to cash in on a seemingly minor violation of the CRLTO. Case law interpreting the CRLTO has confirmed time and again that Cook County courts will not look to the tenant’s motive in bringing suit. They will just focus on the violation (and then the ensuing penalty).
Is your lease up to snuff? Do you give all of the required summaries? If not, please understand that even the big boys get sued over these seemingly ticky-tack violations. Here at Reda | Ciprian | Magnone, LLC, we review leases for our landlord clients. We also draft leases. We assist with CRLTO compliance for landlords. Don’t navigate the choppy waters of the CRLTO alone. If you are a landlord and needs a careful and friendly advisor, contact us to see if we are a match for an engagement to help counsel on leases and rental practices.