For years, the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (“CRLTO”) has been the bane of landlords and the joy of tenants within the municipal boundaries of the City of Chicago. The CRLTO provides a host of extremely strong protections for Chicago tenants including, most importantly, a general fee-shifting provision for the prevailing party. This means that tenants who have had their rights violated are normally able to find an attorney willing to take their case when, generally, they may not be able to.
However, despite what proud Chicagoans (including myself) might tell you, Chicago is NOT the only city within Cook County. There are a LOT of people (~2.3 million) and a LOT large municipalities in Cook County (e.g. Elgin, Cicero, Arlington Heights) which have no meaningful tenants rights ordinances.
Well, that has now changed!
A new Cook County Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (Cook County Code Sec. 42-801 et seq.) has officially been adopted and become effective county-wide. This new ordinance vests a host of rights for residential tenants and imposes a litany of duties on residential landlords. While the ordinance largely tracks the CRLTO, there are several important differences from the CRLTO including, inter alia, a limitation to what actions are fee-shifting and less onerous security deposit requirements. A competent public summary of the ordinance’s contents can be found here. To be clear, this new law applies to ALL residential properties within Cook County, except those explicitly excluded and those located in municipalities with their own already adopted landlord-tenant ordinance.
It is hard to overstate the importance and impact of the Cook County Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance on landlord-tenant law in Cook County. For trusted, cost-effective, and well-informed legal counsel on this and other landlord-tenant issues, call Cameron & Kane LLC today! 872-588-0727.