On June 5, 2013, the City of Chicago took a big step in solving the bed bug problem by passing an ordinance aimed at clarifying landlord/tenant responsibilities. The ordinance amends several sections of the Chicago Municipal Code, most notably, Article VIII: Bed Bugs of Chapter 7-28: Health Nuisances. The ordinance also requires that landlords provide a brochure on bed bugs to tenants when signing a new or renewing an existing lease or other rental agreement. The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) was tasked with developing the brochure which is available on the department’s website
LCBH believes that an ordinance addressing the eradication of bed bugs is vital to ensure the safety and habitability of rental units. During meetings and hearings on the ordinance, LCBH expressed concerns regarding unwarranted and possibly retaliatory eviction actions based on the reporting of bed bug infestation. Our efforts, along with others, helped secure specific language in the ordinance forbidding this behavior.