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Resource Guide: The Landlord's Responsibility

Chicago Renters' Resource Guide, Chapter 4

This chapter of the Chicago Renters' Resource Guide provides an overview of the landlord's responsibilities under the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) for maintaining his/her building in compliance with the Municipal Code and making all repairs promptly.

Resource Guide: The Rental Agreement

Chicago Renters' Resource Guide, Chapter 3

This chapter of the Chicago Renters' Resource Guide provides an overview of the rental agreement, otherwise known as the lease.

A lease is a contract containing promises between you and the landlord. There are two types: a written lease and a spoken or oral agreement. Both are recognized by the courts and can be legally binding. Understanding what you are agreeing to when signing a lease or what you are agreeing to orally with your landlord is very important.

Resource Guide: Fair Housing

Chicago Renters' Resource Guide, Chapter 2

This chapter of the Chicago Renters' Resource Guide provides an overview housing discrimination. It is illegal to discriminate in any real estate transaction including rental, sale, terms and conditions of the rental or sale, advertising and lending. There are four major agencies in Chicago that handle housing discrimination complaints: Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR), Cook Count Commission on Human Rights (CCCHR), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR).

Resource Guide: Ordinance Summary

Chicago Renters' Resource Guide, Chapter 1

This chapter of the Chicago Renters' Resource Guide provides a summary of the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance.

HOUSING DISCRIMINATION. IT’S UNLAWFUL, UNFAIR AND UN-AMERICAN.

He fought overseas for his country and shouldn't have to fight housing discrimination at home.The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination because of disability, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status or race. If you suspect housing discrimination, contact HUD or your local fair housing center.

Fair Housing Is Your Right. Use It.

Is religious discrimination keeping you out of the home of your dreams?

Housing discrimination based on any form of religion isn’t just unfair – it’s against the law. If you feel that you've been denied the sale, rental or financing of a home because of religion, race, color, national origin, sex, familial status or disability, report it to HUD or your local fair housing center.

Here are some possible signs of housing discrimination

How can we tell him that the color of his skin is keeping his family from the home of its dreams?

Housing discrimination isn’t just unfair – it’s against the law. If you feel that you've been denied the sale, rental or financing of a home because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability, report it to HUD or your local fair housing center.

Fair Housing Is Your Right. Use It.

We found a three-bedroom apartment we loved in a great neighborhood with good schools and a beautiful park. But the landlord told us to live someplace else that would be better for our family. We filed a complaint with HUD, and now we have a wonderful place to live.

Here are some telltale signs of housing discrimination against families with children:

Earlier this year (2013), the City Council passed an ordinance to help address the problem of bed bugs. The ordinance 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 to develop this brochure and make it available to landlords by posting it on our website. That brochure is now available and accessible here.

This is the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection's Bed Bug Information page with links to many useful resources.

Bed bugs can be found almost anywhere, from apartment buildings to four star hotel rooms. Recently, they have become more problematic. Possible reasons include modern bed bugs’ resistance to pesticides, increased travel, global warming, and lack of public awareness. Most likely it’s a combination of all of these and others.

LCBH provided the following testimony at the January 29, 2013 Joint Committee Meeting - Health and Environmental Protection & Housing and Real Estate regarding the proposed bed bug ordinance.

I found the perfect apartment near a park and public transportation. I asked for a reasonable accommodation for my service dog, but the landlord told me “no pets –try someplace else.” SoI called HUD and found out it’s illegal for a housing provider to prohibit service animals. I filed a complaint, and now my dog and I have a great place to live.

Fair Housing Is Your Right. Use It.

The solution to housing discrimination starts with you. If you have been trying to buy or rent a house or apartment and you believe your rights have been violated, contact HUD or your local fair housing center. The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status or disability.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing created the Renters’ Resource Guide to assist you in understanding the legal remedies available under the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO).

You cannot be evicted just because your landlord is in foreclosure. Your rights as a tenant do not change while your landlord is in foreclosure. You and your landlord still have to follow the terms of the lease.

Explains what you can do if your landlord locked you out of your apartment, and provides the necessary forms and instructions.

Explains when your landlord can evict you and the steps that the landlord must take before you can be ordered to move out

An eviction can appear on your credit history. This is true even if the eviction is caused by your landlord going into foreclosure. If banks and future landlords see an eviction on your credit history, it may be harder for you to get a loan or rent an apartment. If the eviction case is because of your landlord going into foreclosure, you can keep banks and future landlords from seeing that you were evicted by getting the record of your eviction sealed by the court. This program will help you prepare your forms. It will ask you questions and you will enter your answers.

The housing choice voucher program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments.

If there is a written or oral agreement where the landlord agrees to provide or pay for any water, gas, or electric service the landlord must pay for the services to make sure they are available to the tenant throughout the term of the lease, and must pay the utility company in a timely manner so as not to cause any interruption in service.