Keep Chicago Renting

No longer will foreclosure alone be an excuse to vacate the properties of renters.
Keep Chicago Renting

With the passage of the Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance (KCRO) in June 2013, members of the Keep Chicago Renting Coalition who advocated for adoption of the ordinance are now actively engaged in educating renters and other constituents about the ordinance’s new protections. It is expected that this ordinance will positively change the landscape of tenant protections—no longer will foreclosure alone be an excuse to vacate the properties of renters.

About the Coalition

The Keep Chicago Renting Coalition comprised of community-based organizations, unions, and policy groups, with a policy committee spearheaded by LCBH, crafted a new ordinance designed to increase local renter protections and to hold successors-in-interest (primarily banks) accountable to tenants in buildings acquired at foreclosure sale. Since early 2012, the group has actively promoted the adoption of this ordinance through meetings with aldermen and other city officials, press conferences, policy reports, and other action intended to draw attention to the problems caused by vacant buildings and tenant displacement.

The coalition member organizations are Action Now, Albany Park Neighborhood Council, Business and Professional People for Public Interest, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Metropolitan Tenants’ Organization, Northwest Side Housing Center, and Organization of the North East.

Passage of the Ordinance

The ordinance, formally known as the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosed Rental Property Ordinance, was passed with overwhelming aldermanic support (a 45 to 4 vote) on June 5, 2013, and applies to renters living in properties where the “Order Confirming Sale” in the foreclosure case occurred on or after September 24, 2013.

Protections introduced by the ordinance include an extension of the 90 day protection under the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 (PTFA) —shielding renters from the time a foreclosure sale is confirmed by the court until the building is sold to a third-party purchaser. This ordinance mandates that successors-in-interest to foreclosed properties either offer new or extended leases to tenants in foreclosed properties, or, should they choose to vacate properties, provide $10,600 in relocation assistance per household. This allows renters, even those without a written lease, to remain in their home as long as they comply with their rental agreements, incentivizing banks to collect rent, or sell occupied REOs, keeping them in productive use.

Amendments

The City of Chicago passed amendments to the ordinance on April 15, 2015 that clarify the law and increase protections for many renters living in properties lost to foreclosure. The new amendments clearly advise both renters and the new owners about the time frame in which the new owner and renter need to communicate with each other during the process.

Education & Awareness

Since the passage of the ordinance, LCBH and coalition members have been engaged in educating renters and other stakeholders on the new protections.

  • LCBH created a new informational brochure for renters covering their rights and responsibilities throughout the foreclosure process.
  • LCBH updated its guide on how to find out if a property is in foreclosure.
  • LCBH has translated the required notice language into Spanish, Polish and Chinese. These translations may be used by owners to inform their tenants in accordance with the law.
  • LCBH is training tenant advocates, community groups, social service providers and attorneys about the ordinance’s provisions. A webinar for attorneys and law students is available online.