Building Code Scofflaws and Problem Landlords The Eriana Patton Smith and Coleman/Clark Kids Tenant Protection Ordinance

Provides for a number of penalties to incentivize better conditions for renters, improved maintenance of their buildings and compliance with the Chicago Municipal Code.

On January 21, 2015, the Chicago City Council approved an amendment of Titles 1, 2, 4 and 13 of Municipal Code entitled "The Eriana Patton Smith and Coleman/Clark Kids Tenant Protection Ordinance" to prohibit building code scofflaws or problem landlords from doing business with the City and establish fines for violations.

The ordinance provides for a number of penalties to incentivize better conditions for renters, improved maintenance of their buildings and compliance with the Chicago Municipal Code. Identified building owners will not be able to obtain business licenses, receive zoning changes, acquire city land or receive financial assistance like Tax Increment Financing (TIF), or obtain building permits not related to addressing their violations. The most serious offenders, who have already been found liable by a hearing officer or a judge and have failed to comply, could be subject to forfeiture or receivership to third parties who can provide for the life safety and welfare of the residents in their buildings.

The ordinance authorizes the publication of these identified building owners: “The commissioner, in consultation with the corporation counsel, is authorized to create and publish a list of building code scofflaws and a list of problem landlords in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this section.”

Authority: 
City of Chicago
Citation: 
Chicago Municipal Code § 2-92-416

The Problem Landlords List: The Problem Landlords List identifies residential building owners repeatedly cited for failing to provide tenants with basic services and protections, such as adequate heat, hot water, and working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Those on the list have been found liable in two or more Administrative Hearing cases within a 24-month period and have three or more serious building code violations. This list is updated on a biannual basis.