Action Center

Please OPPOSE Cook County Residential Tenant-Landlord Ordinance
Two members of the Cook County Board have introduced a Residential Tenant and Landlord Ordinance (RTLO) which regulates the relationship between the tenant and landlord. This proposal’s provisions grant a host of new rights and remedies to tenants, and it imposes several new responsibilities and duties on Landlords.

WE NEED YOU TO TAKE ACTION TO STOP THIS PROPOSAL!  Please use the form on this page to send one of three prepared messages to the Cook County Board and let them know you oppose these regulations.

The proposal is similar to Chicago’s Landlord-Tenant ordinance but it goes further in regard to new duties and new limitations imposed on property owners.

While it does exempt buildings which are six units or less and owner occupied, it applies to all other rental agreements regardless of the duration of the tenancy-- even short-term rentals. Some of the various provisions in the RTLO include the following:
  • Limits on late rental fee payments to $10 per month.
  • Disclosure to prospective tenants of utility costs for the previous 12 months.
  • Additional habitability requirements, beyond building city code requirements.
  • Tenant “right to cure” non-payment of rent before judge orders eviction.
  • Landlord storage of tenant's personal items if tenant vacates a unit.
  • Non-lease renewal notice of 90 days.
  • Landlord Disclosure of code violations to prospective tenants for the previous 12 months.
  • Landlords cannot charge other "fees" such as a move-in fees.
Several municipalities already regulate rental properties through pre-rental occupancy inspections, crime free ordinances, and landlord licensure. Now, on top of these laws, the County wants to regulate leases and your relationship with your tenant. How many layers of regulation is necessary until these burdens and costs cause serious disinvestment in rental housing?!

The justification for a County Residential Tenant and Landlord Ordinance (RTLO), according to one of the sponsors, is that “he just likes regulations.“ While that statement was in jest, the livelihood of housing providers is no joking matter. Furthermore, that is one of the most irresponsible statements uttered to justify a proposed regulation. Regulating just to regulate is alarming, especially at a time when property owners have taken significant losses during the pandemic. Landlords have worked with tenants on payment plans, reduced fees, etc. And the eviction moratorium has severely limited landlords' ability to enforce agreed upon lease terms.

Many Landlords are worried about foreclosure and debt payments as a result of the pandemic. The County will make it even more challenging to provide housing in Cook County. Ask your County Commissioners to focus on housing stability instead of new rules and requirements. This is the worst time for that! TAKE ACTION and urge a NO vote on the proposed Residential Tenant and Landlord Ordinance (RTLO). Stop piling on regulations! 
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