Chicago RLTO (residential landlord-tenant ordinance)

The Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) delineates the legal framework governing the interactions between landlords and tenants within the city. It applies to the majority of residential properties, excluding those where the landlord resides within a building of six or fewer units. Importantly, rights under Illinois state law remain in effect for units not covered by the RLTO.

Key provisions outlined in the Chicago RLTO include, but are not limited to:

  • Tenants are empowered to request necessary repairs through written communication;
  • Landlords are obligated to furnish tenants with their complete contact information;
  • The imposition of late fees is subject to a cap of $10 for the initial $500 of rent, followed by a 5% fee on the subsequent amount;
  • The ordinance explicitly prohibits restrictions on subleasing, permitting tenants to sublease given that the prospective sublessee satisfies the standard tenant qualifications;
  • It upholds the tenant’s irrevocable right to opt for a jury trial in relevant disputes, a stipulation that cannot be negated by any lease agreement;
  • Notification requirements are stipulated for landlords intending to conclude or alter a month-to-month tenancy, non-renew a lease, or adjust rent levels, with the requisite notice period contingent upon the duration of the tenancy.

Additionally, Chicago landlords are mandated to provide tenants with a written overview of the RLTO, a resource readily accessible on the City of Chicago’s official website. Non-compliance with this requirement grants tenants the authority to unilaterally terminate their lease after issuing notice.

If you have questions or need assistance seek the help of a Real Estate Lawyer.