On March 27, 2013, the First District Illinois Appellate Court issued an opinion against a Chicago area landlord for alleged violations of the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance. The case is important because it was brought as a class action, meaning the landlord could suffer damages equal to one month's rent for each and every violation of CRLTO during the two year class period. Plaintiff filed class action complaint alleging that defendant landlord violated Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance by failing to disclose to tenants City Building Code citations as to their apartments and common areas, in 12 months prior to their leases. Termination of the lease and surrender of the premises to the landlord are not required to recover the greater of one month's rent or actual damages when a landlord, after receiving the required statutory written notice, failed to provide tenant with notice of Code violations. Here is a full copy of the Court's decision in the case:
Happy New Year!
With each change of the calendar year come the requirement that all Chicago landlords subject to the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance ("CRLTO") update the lease form that they are using. This year, there are two important changes to consider and implement.
First, each January, CRLTO requires that the landlord change the interest rate disclosure that is made to tenants. For 2012, the interest rate is set at .057%. The CRLTO requires that Chicago landlords subject to the ordinance disclose the rate for the current year and the prior two years. Failure to disclose the appropriate rate at the time a lease is presented can subject the landlord to significant consequences - such as damages of two times the deposit, return of the deposit and attorney's fees. iMove Chicago uses the latest lease form in all transactions it processes. Additionally, we have posted the necessary forms under the "Buy Forms" at the iMove Blog site.
Second, the CRLTO was amended in 2011 and adds a new requirement that landlords re-key locks after each tenant's occupancy or provide the tenant with a written authorization permitting them to re-key their own locks. We previously wrote about this new law in the iMove Blog and advised our landlords to be prepared to comply. Our standard lease form has been updated to reflect the changes to CRLTO.
At iMove Chicago, we believe it is important to keep our landlord clients updated on the latest changes to the laws affecting their business. Check back here regularly for updates. If you would like to discuss any issues you are having or would just like us to review the lease you are using, simply contact our office.
We look forward to working with you in the new year.
On December 31, 2009, the City of Chicago announced the security deposit nterest rate for all 2010 leases subject to the Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance ("RLTO"). The new rate is .073%. It is important that landlords update their lease forms to reflect proper disclosure of the new rate to be in full compliance with RLTO. Failure to comply can expose a landlord to significant liability.
Consult with your own legal counsel to learn more or contact a iMove agent for a reference to an attorney familiar with these matters.
If you live in Chicago and you have rented an apartment recently, you may have noticed the fact that more and more landlords are not requiring security deposits. In fact, most large managed apartment buildings have done away with deposits altogether. What is behind this trend? Certainly, it could be that Chicago landlords recognize the dire economic times we all live in and are loosening their requirement out of a well-placed sense of rental brotherhood. Do you buy that? Didn't think so. Then what is behind it? The answer: LAWYERS. Yes, that's right, for once, law firms are on the side of the little guy. Chicago lawyers have identified the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance ("RLTO") as a perfect tool to go after the deep pockets of landlords recovering thousands of dollars for their clients while pocketing a little for themselves in the process. RLTO places significant burdens on Chicago landlords when it comes to security deposits. Among the requirements are that the landlord give a proper receipt for any security deposit that it accepts, that the deposit not be co-mingled with the landlord's money, and that the deposit be returned or properly accounted for upon lease termination. As easy as it seems, landlords are having difficulty following RLTO and the Court in Chicago have been unforgiving in their strict enforcement. The result is that many landlords have been faced with large judgements and class action claims that threaten their bottom line. In response, many landlords have chose to drop the requirement that tenants post a security deposit altogether. This is a windfall for Chicago tenants. No longer will tenants be required to come up with an extra month or sometimes two months for a security deposit freeing up substantial amounts for other needs. Deposits are often replaced with nonrefundable "move in" or "processing fees" which may or may not be returned to the tenant or credited against the rent due. These fees average about $250, but can vary widely.