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The Pitfalls of being a Chicago Landlord

The Pitfalls of being a Chicago Landlord

While many Chicago landlords are readily able to price their units competitively, most landlords are unaware of the strict requirements set forth in the Chicago RLTO (Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance). Unless you are one of the few Chicago landlords who are expressly exempt from the RLTO; being unaware of the law is no defense and failure to abide by the RLTO’s strict requirements can result in hefty penalties. And those penalties are not including your obligation to pay your tenant’s attorneys’ fees.

For a Chicago landlord, the first thing to do is ensure that your Lease fully complies with the RLTO. This is not a simple task and is not something that can be wholly explained here. However, as a starting point, make sure your lease is in compliance with Section 5-12-08(a)(3). To do so, your lease should not only specify the security deposit to be paid by the Tenant but must also clearly disclose the name and address of the financial institution where the security deposit will be deposited. Did you know that your simple failure to include the bank’s name and address in the lease means that if the Tenant sues you – the Court will order you to pay the Tenant a penalty amounting to twice the amount of the security deposit? As I stated above, being ignorant of the …


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