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Municipal Code of Chicago Title 5 Chapter 12

Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinances


READER NOTE:  (The pest control section of this code has only one sentence under):     Section 5-12-110  Tenant remedies:
"In addition to any remedies provided under federal law, a tenant shall have the remedies specified in tis section under the circumstances herein set forth:    For purposes of this section, material noncompliance with Section 5-12-070 shall
 include,  but is not limited  to, any of the following circumstances:
........failure to exterminate insects, rodents or other pests; "


5-12-010     Title, Purpose and Scope

This chapter shall be known and may br cited as the "Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance", and shall be liberally construed and applied to promote its purposes and polices.

It is the purpose of this chapter and the policy of the city, in order to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens, toe establish  the landlord and the tenant in the rental of dwelling units, and to encourage the landlord and the tenant to maintain and improve the quality of housing.

This chapter applies to, regulates and determines rights, obligations and remedies under every rental  agreement for a dwelling unit located within the City of Chicago, regardless of where the agreement is  made, subject only to the limitations contained in Section 5-12-020.  This chapter applies specifically to  rental agreements for dwelling units operated under subsidy programs of agencies of thi United States  and/or the State of Illinois, including specifically, programs operated or subsidized by the Chicago  Housing Authority and/or the Illinois Housing Development Authority to the extent that this chapter is  not in direct conflict with statutory or regulatory provisions governing such programs.  (Prior code  193.1-1; Added Council Journal ol Proceedings, September 8, 1986, page 3371; Amend. Council  Journal of Proceedings, November 6, 1991, page 7198; Amend. Council Journal of Proceedings, March  31, 2004, page 20938).

5-12-020     Exclusions

Rental of the following dwelling units shall not be governed by this chapter, unless the rental agreement thereof is created to avoid the application of this chapter;

(a)  dwelling units in owner-occupied buildings containing six units or less; provided, however, that the provisions of Sections 5-12-160 shall
apply to every rented dwelling unit in such buildings within the City of  Chicago.

(b)  dwelling units in hotels, motels, inns, bed-and-breakfast establishments, rooming houses and  boarding houses, but only until such time
as the dwelling unit has been occupied by a tenant for 32 or  more continuous days and tenant pays a monthly rent, exclusive of any period of wrongful  occupancy  contrary to agreement with an owner.  Notwithstanding the above, the prohibition against interruption of  tenant occupancy set forth in Section 5-12-160 shall apply to every rented dwelling unit in such buildings  within the City of Chicago.  No landlord shall bring an action to recover possession of such unit, or avoid  renting monthly in order to avoid the application of this chapter.  Any willful attempt to avoid application  of this chapter by an owner may be punishable by criminal or civil action;

(c)  housing accommodations in any hospital, convent, monastery, extended care facility, asylum or not-for-profit home  for the aged, temporary
over-night shelter, transitional shelter, or in a dormitory owned  and operated by an elementary school, high school or institution of higher learning; student housing  accommodations wherein a housing agreement or housing contract is entered into between the student and  an institution of higher learning or student housing wherein the institution exercises control or supervision  of the students; or student housing owned and operated by a tax exempt organization affiliated with an  institution of higher learning.

(d)  a  dwelling unit that is occupied by a purchaser pursuant to a rel estate purchase contract prior to the transfer of title to such property to
such purchaser, or by a seller of property pursuant to a real estate purchase contract subsequent to the  transfer of title from such seller;

(e)  a dwelling unit occupied by an employee of a landlord whose right to occupancy is conditional upon employment in or about the premises; and

(f)  a dwelling unit in a cooperative occupied by a holder of a proprietary lease, (Prior code 191.1-2; Added Council Journal of Proceedings,
September 8, 1986, page 33771; Amend.  Council Journal of Proceedings, November 6, 1991, pages 7198 -- 7199; Amend, Council Journal of Proceedings, September 4, 2003, page 7130).

5-12-030     Definitions

Whenever used in this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:

(a)  "Dwelling unit"     means a structure or the part of a structure that is used as a home,  residence or sleeping place by one or more persons
 who maintain a household, together  with the common areas, land and appurtenant buildings thereto, and all housing services, privileges, furnishings and facilities  supplied in connection with the use or occupancy thereof, including garage and parking facilities.

(b)  "Landlord"     means the owner, agent, lessor or sublessor, or the successor, interest in any of them, of a dwelling unit or the building of
which it is part.

(c)  "Owner"     means one or more persons, jointly or severally, in whom is vested all or part of the legal title to property, or all or part of the
beneficial ownership and a right to present use and enjoyment of the premises, including a mortgagee in possession.


(d)  "Person"     means an individual, corporation, government, governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership
 or association or any other legal or commercial entity

(e)  "Premises"     means the dwelling unit and the structure of which it is a part, and facilities and appurtenances therein, and grounds, areas
 and facilities held out for the use for tenants.

(f)  "Rent"     means any consideration, including any payment, bonus, benefits or gratuity, demanded or received by a landlord for or in
connection with the use or occupancy of a dwelling unit.

(g)  "Rental agreement"      means all written or oral agreements embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a
dwelling unit.

(h)  "Successor landlord"     means any person who follows a landlord in ownership or control of a dwelling  unit or the building of which it is
 part, and shall include a lienholder who takes ownership or control  either by contract, operation of law, or a curt order.  However, a "successor landlord" shall not include a  receiver pursuant to a court order.

(i)  "Tenant"     means a person entitled by written or oral agreement, subtenancy approved by the landlord or by sufferance, to occupy a
 dwelling unit to the exclusion of others.  (Prior code 193.`1-3; Added Council Journal of Proceedings, September 8, 1986, page 33771; Amend. Council Journal of Proceedings November 6, 1991, page 7199, Amend, Council Journal of Proceedings, May 12, 2010, page 91084).

5-12-040     Tenant Responsibilities

Every tenant must:

(a)  comply with all obligations imposed specifically upon tenants by provisions of the municipal code applicable to dwelling units;

(b)  keep that part of the premises that he occupies and uses as safe as the condition of the premises permits;

(c)  dispose of all ashes, rubbish, garbage and other waste from his dwelling unit in a clean and safe manner;

(d)  keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the tenants as clean as their condition permits;

(e)  use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances,
including elevators, in the premises;

(f)  not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the premises or knowingly permit any person on the
premises with his consent to do so; and

(g)  conduct himself and require other persons on the premises with this consent to conduct themselves in a  manner that will not disturb his
neighbors' peaceful enjoyment of the premises.  (Prior code 193.1-4; Added Council Journal of Proceedings, September 8, 1986, page 33771).

5-12-050   Landlord's Right of Access    

A tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter the dwelling unit:

(a)  to make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements;

(b)  to supply necessary or agreed services;

(c)  to conduct inspections authorized or required by any government agency;

(d)  to exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, workmen or contractors;

(e)  to exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective tenants 60 days or less prior to the expiration of the existing rental agreement;

(f)  for practical necessity where repairs or maintenance elsewhere  in the building unexpectedly require such access;

(g)  to determine a tenant's compliance with provisions in the rental agreement; and

(h)  in case of emergency.

The landlord shall not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant. except  in cases where access  is authorized by subsection (f) or (h) of this section, the landlord shall give the tenant notice of the  landlord's intent to enter of no less than two days.  Such notice shall be provided directly to each dwelling unit by mail, telephone, written notice to the dwelling unit, or by other reasonable means designated in  good faith to provide notice to the tenant  If access is required because of repair work or common  facilities or other apartments, a general notice may be given by the landlord to all potentially affected  tenants that entry may be required.  In cases where access is authorized by subsection (f) or (h) of this  section, the landlord may enter the dwellings unit without notice or consent of the tenant.  The landlord  shall give the tenant notice of such entry within two days after such entry.

The landlord may enter only at reasonable times except in case of an emergency.  An entry between 8:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. or at any other time expressly requested by the tenant shall be presumed reasonable.  (Prior code 193.1-5; Added Council Journal of Proceedings, September 8, 1986, page 33771).


5-12-060    Remedies for Improper Denial of Access

If the tenant refuses to allow lawful access, the landlord may obtain injunctive relief to compel access or terminate the rental agreement pursuant to Section 5-12-130(b) of this chapter.  In either case, the landlord may recover damages.

If the landlord makes an unlawful entry or a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner or makes repeated unreasonable demands for entry otherwise lawful, but which have the effect of harassing the tenant, the  tenant may obtain injunctive relief to prevent the recurrence of the conduct, or terminate the rental  agreement pursuant to the notice provisions of Section 5-12-110(a).  In each case, the tenant may recover  an amount equal to not more than one months rent or twice the damage sustained by him, whichever is  greater.  (Prior code 193.1-6; Added Council Journal of Proceedings,  September 8, 1986, page 33771; Amend. Council Journal of Proceedings, November 6, 1991, page 7202).

5-12-070     Landlord's Responsibility to Maintain

The landlord shall maintain the premises in compliance with all applicable provisions of the municipal code and shall promptly make any and all repairs necessary to fulfill this obligation.    (Prior code 193.1-7; Added Council Journal of Proceedings, September 8, 1986, page 33771; Amend July 28, 20, 2010-3654).

5-12-080     Security Deposits

(a)  (1)  A landlord shall hold all security deposits received by him in a federally insured interest-bearing  account in a bank, savings and loan
association or other financial institution located in the State of  Illinois.  A security deposit and interest due thereon shall continue to  be the property of the tenant making  such deposit, shall not be commingled with the assets of the landlord, and shall not be subject ot the  claims of any creditor of the landlord or of the landlord's successors in interest, including a foreclosing  mortgagee or trustee in bankruptcy.  (Amend. July 28, 2010 (Doc. No. 02010-3654).

(2)  Notwithstanding subsection (a)(1), a landlord may accept the payment of the first month's rent and security deposit in one electronic
funds transfer, and deposit the check or electronic funds transfer into one account, if within 5 business days of the acceptance of the check or electronic transfer, the landlord transfers the amount of the security deposit into a separate account that complies with subsection (a)(1).  Amend. July 28, 2010 (Doc. No. O2010-3654).

(3)  The name and address of the financial institution where the security deposit will be deposited shall be  clearly and conspicuously
disclosed   in the written rental agreement signed by the tenant.  If no written  rental agreement is provided, the landlord shall, within 14 days of receipt of the security deposit, notify  the tenant in writing of the name and address of the financial institution where the security deposit was  deposited.  (Amend. July 28, 2010 (Doc. No. O2010-3654).

If, during the pendency of the rental agreement, a security deposit is transferred from one financial institution to another, the landlord shall within 14 days of such transfer, notify the tenant in writing of the name and address of the new financial  institution.  (Amend July 28, 2010 (Doc. No. O2010-3654).

(4)  Notwithstanding subsection (a)(1), a landlord shall not be considered to be commingling the security deposits with the landlord's
assets if there is excess interest in the accounts in which the security deposits are deposited.  "Excess interest" means the amount of money in  excess of the total amount of security deposits deposited into the account plus any interest due thereon.  (Amend July 28, 2010 (Doc. No. O2010-3654).

(b)  (1)  Except as provided for in subsection (b)(2), any landlord who receives security deposit from a  tenant or prospective tenant shall give
 said tenant or prospective  tenant at the time of receiving such  security deposit a receipt indicating the amount of such security deposit, the name of the person receiving  it and, in the case of the agent, the name of the landlord for whom such security deposit is received, the  date on which it is received, and a description of the dwelling unit.  The receipt shall be signed by the  person receiving the security deposit.  Failure to comply with this subsection shall entitle the  tenant to  immediate return of security deposit.  (Amend. July 28, 2010 (Doc. No. O2010-3654).

(2)  Upon payment of the security deposit by means of an electronic funds transfer, the landlord shall give  the tenant a receipt that
complies with  subsection (b)(1), or an electronic receipt that acknowledges the  receipt of the security deposit.  The  electronic receipt shall set forth the date of the receipt of the security  deposit, the amount of the deposit, a  description of the dwelling unit and an electronic or digital signature,  as those terms are defined in 5 ILCS 175/5-105, of the person receiving the deposit.  (Amend July 28, 2010 (Doc. No. O2010-3654).

(c)  A landlord who holds a security deposit or prepaid rent pursuant to this section shall pay interest to the tenant accruing from the beginning
 date of the rental term specified in the rental agreement at the rate determined in accordance with Section 5-12-081 for the year in which the rental agreement was entered  into.  The landlord shall, within 30 days after the end of each 12-month rental period, pay to the tenant any  interest, by cash or  credit to be applied to the rent due.   (Amend. Council Journal of Proceedings,  November 6, 1991, page 7203; Added Council Journal of the Proceedings, May 14, 1997, page 4516; Amend. Council Journal of Proceedings, March 31, 2004, page 20939, July 28, 2010 (Doc. No. O20-10-3654)).

(d)  The landlord shall, within 45 days after the date that the tenant vacates the dwelling unit or within 7  days after the date that the tenant
 provides notice of termination of the rental agreement pursuant to  Section 5-12-110(g), return to the tenant the security deposit or any balance thereof and the required  interest thereon; provided, however, that the landlord may deduct from such security deposit or interest  due thereon for the following:  (Amend July 28, 2010 (Doc. No. O2010-3654).

(1)  any unpaid rent which has not been validly withheld or deducted pursuant to state or federal law or local ordinance; and (Amend
July 28, 2010 (Doc. No. O2010-3654).

(2)  a reasonable amount necessary to repair any damage caused to the premises by the tenant or any  person under the tenant's control or
 on the premises with the tenant's consent, reasonable wear and tear  excluded.  In case of such damage, the landlord shall deliver or mail to the last known address of the  tenant within 30 days an itemized statement of the damages allegedly caused to the premises and the  estimated or actual cost for repairing or replacing each item on that statement, attaching copies of the paid  receipts for the repair or replacement.  If estimated cost is given, the landlord shall furnish the tenant with  copies of paid receipts or a certification of actual costs of repairs of damage if the work was performed by  the landlord's employees within 30 days from the date the statement showing estimated cost was  furnished to the tenant.  (Amend July 28, 2010 (Doc. No. O2010-3654).

(e)  In the event of a sale, lease, transfer of ownership or control or other direct or indirect disposition of residential real property by a landlord
 who has received a security deposit or prepaid rent from a tenant, the successor landlord of such property shall be liable to that tenant for any security  deposit, including statutory interest, or prepaid rent which the tenant has paid to the transferor.

The successor landlord shall, within 14 days from the date of such transfer, notify the tenant who made  such security deposits by delivering or mailing to the tenant's last known address that such security deposit  was transferred to the successor landlord and that the successor landlord is holding said security deposit.  Such notice shall also contain the successor landlord's name, business address, and business telephone  number of the successor landlord's agent, if any.  The notice shall be in writing (Amend July 28, 2010 (Doc. No. O2010-3654).

(f)  (1)  Subject to subsection (f)(2), if the landlord fails to comply with any provision of Section 5-12-080 (a) - (e), the tenant shall be awarded
damages in an amount equal to two times the  security deposit plus  interest at a rate determined i accordance with Section 5-12-081.  This subsection does not preclude the  tenant from recovering other damages to which he may be entitled under this chapter.  (Prior code 193.1-8; Added Council Journal of Proceedings, September 8, 1986, page 33771; Amend. Council Journal of  Proceedings, November 6, 1991, pages 7204; Added Council Journal of Proceedings, May 14, 1997, page  45168, Amend Council Journal of Proceedings, May 12, 2010, page 91084, Added July 28, 2010, Doc. No. O2010-3654).

(2)  If a landlord pays the interest on a security deposit or prepaid rent within the 30-day period provided for in subsection (c), or within the
45-day period provided for in subsection (d), whichever is applicable, but the amount of interest is deficient, the landlord shall not be liable for damages under subsection (f)(2) unless:

(A)  the tenant gives written notice to the landlord that the amount of the interest returned was deficient; and

(B)  within fourteen days of the receipt of the notice, the landlord fails to either:

(i)  pay to the tenant the correct amount of interest due plus $50.00; or

(ii)  provide to the tenant a written response which sets forth an explanation of how the interest paid was  calculated

If the tenant disagree with the calculation of the interest, as set forth in the written response, the tenant may bring a cause of action in a court of competent jurisdiction challenging the correctness of the written response.  If the court determines that the interest calculation was not accurate, the tenant shall be awarded  damages in an amount equal to two times the security deposit plus interest at a rate determined in accordance with Section 5-12-081.  (Amended July 28, 2010 (Doc. No. O2010-3654).

5-12-081     Interest Rate on Security Deposits

During December of each year, the city comptroller shall review the status of banks within the city and  interest rates on savings accounts, insured money market accounts and six (6) month certificates of  deposit at commercial banks located within the city.  On the first business day of each year, the  comptroller shall announce the rates of interest, as of the last business day of the prior month, on savings accounts, insured money market accounts and six (6) month certificates of deposit at the commercial bank  having the most number of branches located within the city.   The rates for money market accounts and for  certificates of deposit shall be based on the minimum deposits for  such investments.  The comptroller shall  calculate and announce  the average of the three rates.  The average of these rates so announced by the  comptroller shall be the rate of interest on security deposits under rental agreements governed by this  chapter and made or renewed after the most recent announcement.  (Added Council Journal of  Proceedings, May 14, 1997, page 45168; Amend. Council Journal of Proceedings, May 14, 2008)*   Current rate -- January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010 is 0.073% (Prior Year Interest Rates)

5-12-082     Interest Rate Notification


The city comptroller, after computing the rate of interst on security deposit governed by this chapter,  shall cause the new rate of security deposit interest to be published for  five consecutive business days in  two or more newspapers of general circulation in the city.  The mayor shall direct the appropriate city  department to prepare and publish for free public distribution at government offices, libraries, schools and  community organizations, a pamphlet or brochure describing the respective rights, obligations and  remedies of landlords and tenants with respect to security deposits, including the new interest rate as well  as the interest rate for each of the prior two years.  The commissioner shall also distribute the new rate of  security deposit interest, as well as the interest rate for each of the prior two years through public service  announcements to all radio and television outlets broadcasting in the city.  (Added Council Journal of  Proceedings, May 7, 1997, page 45169).

5-12-090     Identification of Owner and Agents

A landlord or any person authorized to enter into an oral or written rental agreement on the landlord's  behalf shall disclose to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy the name, address and telephone number of:

(a)  the owner or person authorized to manage the premises; and

(b)  a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for the purpose of service of process and for the purpose of receiving and
receipting for notices and demands.

A person who enters into a rental agreement and fails to comply with the requirements of this section becomes an agent of the landlord for the purpose of (i) service of process and receiving and receipting for notices and demands and (ii)  performing the obligations of the landlord under this chapter under the rental agreement.

The information required to be furnished by this section shall be kept current and this section extends to and is enforceable against any successor landlord, owner, or manager.

If the landlord fails to comply with this section, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement pursuant to  the notice provisions of Section 5-12-110(a).  If the landlord fails  to comply with the  requirements of this  section after receipt of written notice pursuant to section 5-12-110(a), the tenant shall recover one  month's rent or actual damages, whichever is greater.  (Prior code 193.1-9; Added Council Journal of  Proceedings, September 8, 1986, page 33771; Amend, Council Journal of Proceedings, November 6,  1991, page 7205).

5-12-095     Tenants' Notification of Foreclosure Action

(a)  Within seven (7) days of being served a foreclosure complaint, as defined in 735 ILCS 5/15-1504, an  owner or landlord of a premises
 that is the subject of the foreclosure complaint shall disclose, in writing,  to all tenants of the premises that a foreclosure action has been filed against the owner or landlord.  An  owner or landlord shall also disclose, in writing, the notice of foreclosure to any other third party who has  a consistent pattern and practice of paying rent to the owner or landlord on behalf of a tenant.

Before a tenant initially enters into a rental agreement for a dwelling unit, the owner or landlord shall also disclose, in writing that he is named in a foreclosure complaint.

The written disclosure shall include the court in which the foreclosure action is pending, the case name, and case number and shall include the following language:

"This ids not a notice to vacate the premise.  This notice does not mean ownership of the building has changed.
 All tenants are still responsible for payment of rent and other obligations under the rental agreement.
 The owner or landlord is still responsible for their obligations under the rental agreement.  You shall receive
additional notice if there is a change in owner.".

(b)  If the owner or landlord fails to comply with this section, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement by written notice.  The written
notice shall specify the date of termination no later than thirty (30) days from the date of the written notice.   In addition, if a tenant in a civil legal proceeding against an owner or landlord established that  a violation of this section has occurred, he shall be entitled to recover $200 in damages, in addition to any other damages or remedies that the tenant may also e entitled.  (Added Council Journal of Proceedings October 8, 2008, page 39857).

5-12-100     Notice of Conditions Affecting Habitability

Before a tenant initially enters into or renews a rental agreement for a dwelling unit, the landlord or any person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on his behalf shall disclose to the tenant in writing:

(a)  Any code violations which have been cited by the City of Chicago during the previous 12 months for the dwelling unit and common areas
 and provide notice of the pendency of any code enforcement litigation or compliance board proceeding pursuant to Chapter 13-8-070 of the municipal code affecting the dwelling unit or common area.  The notice shall provide the case number of the litigation and/or the identification number of the compliance board proceeding and a listing of any code violations cited.  (Amend Council Journal of Proceedings, November 6, 1991, page 7205)

(b)  Any notice of intent by the City of Chicago or any utility provider to terminate water, gas, electrical or   other utility service to the dwelling
unit or common areas.  The disclosure shall state the type of service to  be terminated , the intended  date of termination , and whether the termination will affect the dwelling unit, the common areas or both.  A landlord shall e under a continuing obligation to provide disclosure of the  information described in this subsection in this subsection (b) throughout a tenancy.  If a landlord violates this section, the  tenant or prospective tenant shall be entitled to remedies described in  Section 5-12-0-90.  (Prior code  193.1-10, Added Council Journal of Proceedings, September 8, 1986, page 33771; Amend, Council Journal of Proceedings, November 6, 1991, page 7206).

5-12-110     Tenant Remedies

In addition to any remedies provided under federal law, a tenant shall have the remedies specified in this section under the circumstances herein set forth:

For purposes of this section, material noncompliance with Section 5-12-070 shall include but is not limited to, any of the following circumstances:

failure to maintain the structural integrity of the building or structure or parts thereof;

failure to maintain floors in compliance with the safe load-bearing requirements of the municipal code;

failure to comply with applicable requirements of the municipal code for the number, width, construction , location or accessibility of exits;

failure to maintain exit, stairway, fire escape or directional signs where required by the municipal code;

failure to provide smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, standpipe systems, fire alarm systems, automatic fire detectors or fire extinguishers where required by the municipal code;

failure to maintain elevators in compliance with applicable provisions of the municipal code;

failure to provide and maintain in good working order a flush water  closet, lavatory basin, bathtub, or shower or kitchen sink;

failure to maintain heating facilities or gas-fired appliances in compliance with the requirements of the municipal code;

failure to provide heat or hot water in such amounts and at such levels and times as required by the municipal code;

failure to provide hot and cold running water as required by the municipal code;

failure to provide adequate hall or stairway lighting as required by the municipal code;

failure to maintain the foundation, exterior walls or exterior roof in sound condition and repair, substantially watertight and protected against rodents;

failure to maintain floors, interior walls or ceilings in sound condition and good repair;

failure to maintain floors, interior walls or ceilings in sound condition and good repair,

failure to maintain windows, exterior doors or basement hatchways in sound condition and repair and substantially tight and to provide locks or security devices as required by the municipal code, including dead latch locks, dead bolt locks, sash or ventilation locks and front door windows or peep holes;

failure to supply screens where required by the municipal code;

failure to maintain stairways or porches in safe condition and  sound repair;

failure to maintain the basement or cellar in a safe and sanitary condition;

failure to maintain facilities, equipment or chimneys in safe and sound working conditions;

failure to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water;

FAILURE TO EXTERMINATE INSECTS, RODENTS OR OTHER PESTS;

failure to supply or maintain facilities for refuse disposal;

failure to prevent the accumulation o f garbage, trash, refuse or debris as required by the municipal code;

failure to provide adequate light or ventilation as required by the municipal code;

failure to maintain plumbing facilities, piping, fixtures, appurtenances and appliances in good operating condition and repair;

failure to provide or maintain electrical systems, circuits, receptacles and devices as required by the municipal code;

failure to maintain and repair any equipment which the landlord supplies or is required to su8pply; or failure to maintain the dwelling unit and common areas in a fit and habitable condition.

(a)  Noncompliance By Landlord

If there is material noncompliance by the landlord with a rental  agreement or with Section 5-12-070 either of which renders the premises not reasonably fit and habitable,  the tenant under the rental agreement may deliver a written notice to the landlord specify8ing the acts  and/or omissions constituting the material noncompliance and specifying that the rental agreement will  terminate on a date not less than 14 days after receipt of the notice by the landlord, unless the material  noncompliance is remedied by the landlord within the time period specified in the notice.  If the material  noncompliance is not remedied within the time period so specified in the notice, the rental agreement  shall terminate and the tenant shall deliver possession of the dwelling unit to the landlord within 30 days  after the expiration of the time period specified in the notice.  If possession shall not be so delivered, then  the tenant's notice shall be deemed withdrawn and the lease shall remain in full force and effect.  If the  rental agreement is terminated , the landlord shall return all prepaid rent, security and interest recoverable  by the tenant under Section 5-12-080.

(b)  Failure to Deliver Possession     If the landlord fails to deliver possession of the dwelling unit to the tenant in compliance with the
residential rental agreement or Section 5-12-070, rent for the dwelling unit shall abate until possession is delivered, and the tenant may:

(1)  upon written notice to the landlord, terminate the rental agreement and upon termination the landlord shall return all prepaid rent
and security; or

(2)  demand performance of the rental agreement by the landlord and, if the tenant elects, maintain an action for possession of the
 dwelling unit against the landlord or any person wrongfully in possession and recover the damages sustained by him.

  If a person's failure to deliver possession is willful , an aggrieved person may recover from the person withholding possession an amount not more than two months'; rent or twice the actual damages sustained by him, whichever is greater.

(c)  Minor Defects

If there is material noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or with  Section 5-12-070, and the reasonable cost of compliance does not exceed the greater of $500.00 or one-half of the monthly rent, the tenant may recover damages for the material noncompliance or may notify  the landlord in writing of is intention  to correct the condition at the landlord's  expense; provided, however, that this subsection shall not e applicable if the reasonable cost of compliance exceeds one  month's rent.  If the landlord fails to correct the defect within 14 days after being notified by the tenant in  writing or as promptly as conditions require in case of emergency, the tenant may have the work done in a  workmanlike manner and in compliance with existing law and building regulations and, after submitting  to the landlord a paid bill from an appropriate tradesman or supplier, deduct from his or her rent the  amount thereof, not to exceed the limits specified by this subsection and not to exceed the reasonable  price then customarily charged for such work.  A tenant shall not repair at the landlord's expense if the  condition was caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, a member of the  tenant's family, or other person on the premises with the tenant's consent.

Before correcting a condition affecting facilities shared by more than one dwelling unit, the tenant shall  notify all other affected tenants and shall cause the work to be done so as to create the least practical  inconvenience to the other tenants.  Nothing herein shall be deemed to grant any tenant any right to repair  any common element or dwelling unit in a building subject to a condominium regime other than in  accordance with the declaration and bylaws of such condominium building; provided, that the declaration  and bylaws have not been created to avoid the application of this chapter.

For purposes of mechanics' lien laws, repairs performed or materials furnished pursuant to this subsection shall not be construed as having been performed or furnished pursuant to authority of or with permission of the landlord.

(d)  Failure to Maintain

If there is material noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or with Section 5-12-070, the tenant may notify the landlord in writing of the tenant's intention to withhold from the monthly rent an amount which reasonably reflects the reduced value of the premises due to the material noncompliance.  If the landlord fails to correct the condition within 14 days after being notified by the tenant in writing, the tenant may, during the time such failure continues, deduct from the rent the  stated amount.  A tenant shall not withhold rent under this subsection if the  condition was caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, a member of the tenant's family, or other person on the premises with the tenant's consent.

(e)  Damages and Injunctive Relief

If there is material noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or with Section 5-12-070, the tenant may obtain injunctive relief, and/or recovered damages by claim or defense.  This subsection does not preclude the tenant from obtaining other relief to which he may be entitled under this chapter.

(f)  Failure to Provide Essential Services

If there is material noncompliance by the landlord with the  rental agreement or with Section 5-12-070, either of which constitutes an immediate danger to the health  and safety of the tenant or if, contrary to the rental agreement or Section 5-12-070, the landlord fails to  supply heat, running water, hot water, electricity, gas or plumbing, the tenant may give written notice to  the landlord specifying the material noncompliance or failure.  If the landlord has, pursuant to this  ordinance or in the rental agreement, informed the tenant of an address at which notices to the landlord  are to be received, the tenant shall mail or deliver the written notice required in this section to such  address.  If the landlord has not informed the tenant of an address at which notices to the landlord are to be  received, the written notice required in this section shall be delivered by mail to the last known address of  the landlord or by other reasonable means designed in good faith to provide written notice to the landlord.  After such notice, the tenant may during the period of the landlord's noncompliance or failure:

(1)  procure reasonable amounts of heat, running water, hot water, electricity, gas or plumbing service, as the case may be and upon
presentation to the landlord of paid receipts deduct their cost from the rent; or

(2)  recover damages based on the reduction in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit; or

(3)  procure substitute housing, in which case the tenant is excused from paying rent for the period of the landlord's noncompliance. 
The tenant may recover the cost of the reasonable value of the substitute housing up to an amount equal to the monthly rent for each month or portion thereof of noncompliance as prorated.

In addition to the remedies set forth in Section 5-12-110 (1)(1) -- (3), the tenant may:

(4)  withhold from the monthly rent an amount that reasonably reflects the reduced value of the premises due to the material
noncompliance or failure if the landlord fails to correct the condition within 24 hours after being notified by the tenant; provided, however,  that no rent shall be withheld if the failure is due to the inability of the utility provider to provide service; or

(5)  terminate the rental agreement by written notice to the landlord if the material noncompliance or  failure persists for more than
72 hours after the tenant has notified the landlord of the material  noncompliance or failure; provided, however, that no termination shall be allowed if the failure is due to  the inability of the utility provider to provide service.  If the rental agreement is  terminated, the landlord  shall return all prepaid rent, security deposits and interest thereon in accordance with Section 5-12-080  and tenant shall deliver possession of the dwelling unit to the landlord within 30 days after the expiration  of the 72 hour time period specified in the notice.  If possession shall not be so delivered, then the tenant's  notice shall be deemed withdrawn and the lease shall remain in full force and effect.

If the tenant proceeds under this subsection (f), he may not proceed under subsection (c) or (d).  The tenant may not exercise his rights under this subsection if the condition was caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, a member of his family, or other person on the premises with his consent.

Before correcting a condition, the repair of which will affect more than his own dwelling unit, the tenant shall notify all other tenants affected and shall cause the work to be done so as to result in the least practical inconvenience to  other tenants.

(g)  Fire Or Casualty Damage

If the dwelling unit or common area is damaged or destroyed by fire or casualty to an extent that the dwelling unit is in material noncompliance with the rental agreement or with Section 5-12-070, the tenant may:

(1)  immediately vacate the premises and notify the landlord in writing within 14 days thereafter  of the tenant's intention to terminate
 the rental agreement, in which case the rental agreement terminates as of the date of the fire or casualty; or

(2)  if continued occupancy is lawful, vacate any part of the dwelling unit rendered unusable by the fire or casualty, in which case
the tenant's 's liability for rent is reduced in proportion to the reduction in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit; or

(3)  if the tenant desires to continue the tenancy, and if the landlord has promised or begun work to repair  the damage or destruction but
fails to carry out the work to restore the dwelling unit or common area  diligently and within a reasonable time, notify the landlord in writing within 14 days after the tenant  becomes aware that the work is not being carried out diligently or within a reasonable time of the tenant's  intention to terminate the rental agreement, in which case the rental agreement terminates as of the date of  the fire or casualty.

If the rental agreement is terminated  under this subsection (g), the landlord shall return all security and all  prepaid rent in accordance with Section 5-12-080(d).  Accounting for rent in the event of termination or  apportionment shall be made as of the date of the fire or casualty.  A tenant may not exercise remedies in  this subsection if the fire or casualty damage was caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of  the tenant, a member of his family or a person on the premises with is consent.  (Prior code 193.1-1 1;  Added, Council Journal of Proceedings, September 8, 1986,  page 33771; Amend, Council Journal of Proceedings, November 6, 1991, pages 7206 -- 7212)

5-12-120    Subleases

If the tenant terminates the rental agreement prior to its expiration date, except for cause authorized by  this chapter, the landlord shall make a good faith effort to re-rent the tenant's dwelling unit at a fair rental, which shall be the rent charged for comparable dwelling units in the premises or in the same  neighborhood.  The landlord shall accept a reasonable sublease proposed by the tenant  without an assessment of addition fees or charges.

If the landlord succeeds in re-renting the dwelling unit at a fair rental, the  tenant shall be liable for the amount by which the rent due from the date of premature termination to the termination of the initial rental agreement exceeds the fair rental subsequently received by the landlord from the date of premature termination to the termination of the initial rental agreement.

If the landlord makes a good faith effort to re-rent the dwelling unit at a fair rental and is unsuccessful, the tenant shall be liable for the rent due for the period of the rental agreement.  The tenant shall also e liable for the reasonable advertising costs incurred by the landlord in seeking to re-rent the dwelling unit.  (Prior code 193.1-1`2; Added Council Journal of Proceedings, September 8, 1986, page 33771).

5-12-130   Landlord Remedies

Every landlord shall have the remedies specified in this section for the following circumstances:

(a)  Failure to Pay Rent

If all or any portion of rent is unpaid when due and the tenant fails to pay the  unpaid rent within five days after written notice by the landlord of his intention to terminate the rental  agreement if rent is not so paid, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement.  Nothing in this  subsection shall affect a landlord's obligation to provide notice of termination of tenancy in  subsidized housing as required under federal law or regulations.  A landlord may also maintain an action for rent and/or damages without terminating the rental agreement.

(b)  Noncompliance By Tenant

If there is material noncompliance by the tenant with a rental agreement or  with Section 5-12-040, the landlord of such tenant's dwelling unit may deliver written notice to the tenant  specifying the acts and/or omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate  upon a date not less than 10 days after receipt of the notice, unless the breach is remedied y the tenant  within that period of time.  If the breach is not remedied within the 10 day  period, the residential rental  agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice.  The landlord may recover damages and obtain  injunctive relief for any material noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or with Section  5-12-040.  If the tenant's noncompliance is willful, the landlord may also recover reasonable attorney's fees.

(c)  Failure to Maintain

If there is material noncompliance by the tenant with Section 5-12-040 (other  than subsection (g) thereof), and the tenant fails to comply as promptly as conditions permit in case of  emergency or in cases other than emergencies within 14 days of receipt of written notice by the landlord  specifying the breach and requesting that the tenant remedy it within that period of time, the landlord may  enter the dwelling unit and have the necessary work done in the manner required by law  The landlord  shall be entitled to reimbursement from the tenant of the costs of repairs under this section.

(d)  Disturbance of Others

If the tenant violates Section 5-12-040(g) within 60 days after receipt of a written notice as provided in subsection (b), the landlord may obtain injunctive relief against the conduct constituting the violation, or may terminate the rental agreement on 10 days written notice to the tenant.

(e)  Abandonment

Abandonment of the dwelling unit shall be deemed to have occurred when:

(1)  actual notice has been provided to the landlord by the tenant indicating the tenant's intention not to return to the dwelling unit, or

(2)  all persons entitled under a rental agreement to occupy the dwelling unit have been absent from the unit or a period of 21 days or for
one rental period when the rental agreement is for less than a month, and such persons, have removed their property from the premises, and rent for that period is unpaid; or

(3)  all persons entitled under a rental agreement to occupy the dwelling unit have been absent from the unit for a period of 32 days and
rent for that period is unpaid.

Notwithstanding the above, abandonment of the dwelling unit shall not be deemed to have occurred if any person  entitled to occupancy has provided the landlord a written notice indicating that he intends to occupy the unit and makes full payment of all amounts due to the landlord.

If the tenant abandons the dwelling unit, the landlord shall make a good faith effort to re-rent it at a fair  rental, which shall be the rent charged for comparable dwelling units in the premises or in the same  neighborhood.  If the landlord succeeds in re-renting the dwelling unit at a fair rental, the tenant  shall be  liable for the amount by which the rent due from the date of abandonment to the termination of the initial  rental agreement exceeds the fair rental subsequently received by the landlord from the date of  abandonment to the termination of the initial agreement.  If the landlord makes a good faith effort to re-rent the dwelling unit at a fair rental and is unsuccessful, the tenant shall be liable for the rent due for the period of the rental agreement.  The tenant shall also be liable for the reasonable advertising expense and reasonable redecoration costs incurred by the landlord pursuant to this subsection .

(f)  Disposition of Abandoned Property

If the tenant abandons the dwelling unit as described in  subsection (e) hereof, or fails to remove his property from the premises after termination of a  rental agreement, the landlord shall leave the property in the dwelling unit or remove and store all  abandoned property from the dwelling unit and may dispose of the property after seven days.   Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the landlord reasonably believes such abandoned property to be  valueless or of such little value that the cost of storage would exceed the amount that would be realized  from sale, or if such property is subject to spoilage, the landlord may immediately dispose of such  property.

(g)  Waiver of Landlord's Right to Terminate

If the landlord accepts the rent due knowing that there is a default in payment of rent by the tenant, he thereby arrives his right to terminate the rental agreement for that breach.

(h)  Remedy after Termination

If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall have a claim for possession and/or for rent.

(i)  Notice of Renewal of Rental Agreement

No tenant shall be required to renew a rental agreement more than 90 days prior to the termination date of the rental agreement.  If the landlord violates this subsection, the tenant shall recover one month's rent or actual damages, whichever is greater.   

(j)  Notice of Refusal to Renew Rental Agreement

Provided that the landlord has not exercised, or is not  in the process of exercising, any of  tits rights under Section 5-12-130(a) -- (h) hereof, the landlord shall notify the tenant in writing at least 30 days prior to the stated termination date of the rental agreement of  the landlord's intent either to terminate a month to month tenancy or not to renew an existing rental  agreement.  If the landlord fails to give the required written notice, the tenant may remaining  the dwelling  unit for up to 60 days after the date on which such required written notice is given to the tenant,  regardless of the termination date specified in the existing rental agreement.  During such occupancy, the  terms and conditions of the tenancy (including, without limitation, the rental rate) shall be the same as the  terms and conditions during the month of tenancy immediately preceding the notice; provided, however,  that if rent was waived or abated in the preceding month or months as part of the original rental  agreement, the rental amount during such 60 day period shall be at the rate established on the last date  that a full rent payment was made.  (Prior Code 193.1-13; Added Council Journal of Proceedings,  September 8, 1986, page 33771; Amend. Council Journal of Proceedings, November 6, 1991, page 7215)

5-12-140    Rental Agreement

Except as otherwise specifically provided by this chapter, no rental agreement may provide that the landlord or tenant:

(a)  agrees to waive or forego rights, remedies or obligations provided under this chapter;

(b)  authorizes any person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the rental agreement;

(c)  agrees to the limitation of any liability of the landlord or tenant arising under law;

(d)  agrees to waive any written termination of tenancy notice or manner of service thereof provided under state law or this chapter;

(e)  agrees to waive the right of any party to a trial by jury;

(f)  agrees that in the event of a lawsuit arising out of the tenancy the tenant will pay the landlord's attorney's fees except as provided for by
 court rules, statute, or ordinance;

(g)  agrees that  either party may cancel or terminate a rental agreement at a different time or within a shorter time period than the other party,
unless such provision is disclosed in a separate written notice;

(h)  agrees that a tenant shall pay a charge, fee or penalty in excess of $10.00 per month for the first $500.00 in monthly rent plus 5% per month
for any amount in excess of $500.00 in monthly rent for the late payment of rent; and

(i)  agrees that, if a tenant pays rent before a specified date or within a specified time period in the month, the tenant shall receive a discount or
reduction in the rental amount in excess of $10.00 per month for the first $500.00 in monthly rent plus 5% per month for any amount in excess of $500.00 in monthly rent.

A provision prohibited by this section included in a rental agreement is unenforceable.  The tenant may  recover actual damages sustained by the tenant because of the enforcement of a prohibited provision.  If  the landlord attempts to enforce a provision in a rental agreement prohibited by this section the tenant  may recover two  months rent.  Prior code 193.1-14; Added Council Journal of Proceedings, September  8, 1986, page 33771; Amend. Council Journal of Proceedings, November 6, 1991, pages 7215 -- 7216)

5-12-150    Prohibition on Retaliatory Conduct by Landlord

It is declared to be against public policy of the City of Chicago for a landlord to take retaliatory action  against a tenant, except for violation of a rental agreement or violation of a law or ordinance.  A landlord  may not knowingly terminate a tenancy, increase rent, decrease services, bring or threaten to bring a  lawsuit against a tenant for possession or refuse to renew a lease or tenancy because the tenant has in  good faith:

(a)  complained of code violations applicable to the premises to a competent governmental agency, elected representative or public official
charged with responsibility for enforcement of a building, housing, heath or similar code; or

(b)  complained of a building, housing, health or similar code violation or an illegal landlord practice to a community organization or the
 news media; or

(c)  sought the assistance of a community organization or the news media to remedy a code violation or illegal landlord practice; or

(d)  requested the landlord to make repairs to the premises as required by a building code, health ordinance, other regulation, or the
 residential rental agreement; or

(e)  becomes a member of a tenant's union or similar organization; or

(f)  testified in any court or administrative proceedings concerning the condition of the premises; or

(g)  exercised any right or remedy provided by law.

If the landlord acts in violation of this section, the tenant has a  defense in any retaliatory action against  him for possession and is entitled to the following remedies; he shall recover possession or terminate the  rental agreement, and, in either case, recover an amount equal to and not more than two months rent or  twice the damages sustained by him, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney's fees.  If the rental  agreement is terminated, the landlord shall return all security and interest recoverable under Section 5-12-080 and all prepaid rent.  In an action by or against he tenant, if there is evidence of tenant conduct  protected herein within one year prior to the alleged act of retaliation, that evidence shall crate a  rebuttable presumption that the landlord's conduct was retaliatory.  The presumption shall not arise if the  protected tenant activity w was initiated after the alleged act of retaliation.     (Prior code 193.1-15, Added.  Council Journal of Proceedings, September 8, 1986, page 33771).

5-12-160   Prohibition On Interruption of Tenant Occupancy By Landlord

It is unlawful for any landlord or any person acting at his direction knowingly to oust or dispossess or threaten or attempt to to oust or dispossess any tenant from a dwelling unit without authority of law, by plugging, changing, adding or removing any lock or latching device; or by blocking any entrance into said  unit; or by removing any door or window from said unit; or by interfering with the services to said unit;  including but not limited to electricity, gas, hot or cold water, plumbing, heat or telephone service; or by  removing a tenant's personal property from said unit; or by the removal or incapacitating of appliances or  fixtures, except for the purpose of making necessary repairs; or by the use or threat of force, violence or  injury to a tenants person or property; or by any act rendering a dwelling unit or any part thereof or any personal property located therein inaccessible or uninhabitable.  The foregoing  shall not apply where:

(a)  a landlord acts in compliance with the laws of Illinois pertaining to forcible entry and detainer and engages the sheriff of Cook County to forcibly evict a tenant to his personal property; or

(b)  a landlord acts in compliance with the laws of Illinois pertaining to distress for rent; or

(c)  a landlord interferes temporarily with possession only as necessary to make needed repairs or inspection and only as provided by law; or

(d)  the tenant has abandoned the dwelling unit, as defined in Section 5-12-130(e).

Whenever a complaint of violation of this provision is received by the Chicago Police Department, the  department shall investigate and determine whether a violation has occurred.  Any person found guilty of  violating this section shall e fined not less than $200.00 nor more than $500.00 and each day that such  violation shall occur or continue shall constitute a separate and distinct offense for which a fine as hereein  provided shall be imposed.  If a tenant in a civil legal proceedings against his landlord established that a  violation of this section has occurred he shall e entitled to recover possession of his dwellings unit or  personal property and shall recover an amount equal to not more than two  months rent or twice the actual  damages sustained by him, whichever is greater. A tenant may pursue any civil remedy for violation of  this section regardless of whether a  fine has a fine has been entered against the landlord pursuant to this section.  (Prior code 193.1-16;  Added, Council Journal of Proceedings,  September 8, 1986, page 33771; Amend, Council Journal of Proceedings, November 6, 1991, page 7218).

5-12-170   Summary of Ordinance Attached to Rental Agreement

The commissioner of the department of housing shall prepare a summary of this chapter, describing the respective rights, obligations and remedies of landlords and tenants hereunder, and shall make such summary available for public inspection and copying.  The commissioner shall also, after the city  comptroller has announced the rate of interest deposits on the first business day of the year,  prepare a separate summary describing the respective rights, obligations and remedies of landlords and  tenants with respect to security deposits, including the new interest rate as well as the rate for each of the  prior two years.  The commissioner shall also distribute the new rate of security deposit interest, as well as  the rate for each of the prior two years, through public service announcements to all radio and television  outlets broadcasting in the city.  A copy of such summary shall be attached to each written rental  agreement when any such agreement is initially offered to any tenant or prospective tenant by or on  behalf of a landlord and whether such agreement is for a new rental or a renewal thereof.  Where there is  an oral agreement, the landlord shall give to the tenant a copy of the summary.

 The summary shall include the following language:

"The porch or desk of this building should be designed for a live load of up to 100 pounds, per square  foot and is safe only for its intended use.  Protect your safety.  Do not overload the porch or desk.  If you  have questions about porch or deck safety,c all the City of Chicago non-emergency Number 3-1-1."

If the landlord acts in violation of this section, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement by written  notice.  The written notice shall specify the date of termination no later than 30 days from the date of the  written notice.  If a tenant in a civil legal proceedings against his landlord establishes that a violation of this  section has occurred, he shall be entitled to recover $100.00 in damages.  (Prior code 193.1-17; Added  Council Journal of Proceedings, September 8, 1986, page 33771; Amend. Council Journal of  Proceedings, May 14, 1997, page 45167, ; Amend Council Journal Proceedings, October 1, 2003, page 9191)

5-12-180     Attorney's Fees

Except in cases of forcible entry and detainer actions, the prevailing plaintiff in any action arising out of a  landlord's or tenant's application of the rights or remedies made available in this ordinance shall be  entitled to all court costs and reasonable attorney's fees; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be  deemed or interpreted as precluding the  awarding of attorney's fees in forcible entry, and detainer actions  in accordance with applicable law or as expressly provided in this ordinance.  (Added Council Journal of Proceedings, November 6, 1991, page 7219).

5-12-190    Rights and Remedies Under Other Laws

To the extent that this chapter provides no right or remedy in a circumstance, the rights and remedies available to landlords and tenants under the laws of the State of Illinois or other local ordinances shall remain applicable.  (Prior code 193.1-18; Added Council Journal of Proceedings, September 8, 1986, page 33771; Amend, Council Journal of Proceedings, November 6, 1991, page 7219)

5-12-200    Severability

If any provision, clause, sentence, paragraph,s ection, or part of this chapter or application thereof to any  person or cirumstance, shall for any reason be adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be  unconsitutional or invalid, said judgment shall not affect, ipair or invalidate the remainder of this  chapter and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances, but shall e confined in  its operation to the provision, clause, sentence, paragraph, section, or part thereof directly involved in the  controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered and to the person and circumstances  affected thereby.  (Prior code 193.1-19; Added Council Journal of Proceedings, September 8, 1986, page 33771; Amend, Council Journal of Proceedings, November 6, 1991,