Wednesday, January 04, 2012


More on the CRLTO

I know I have discussed this before but it is important to follow the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance, CRLTO, if you own rental property in Chicago. The only property owners that are exempt from the ordinance are owner occupants of buildings with four or less units. That means if you are just renting your house, condo, or town home you are still subject to the ordinance. Even if you are in an owner occupied building I recommend trying to follow most of the rules in the ordinance especially regarding access to your rental units, property notification on lease renewals and month to month lease. The only part you don’t have to worry about is the security deposit interest.

Which brings me to my next point; there are several class action lawsuits against property management companies for not following the ordinance when it comes to the return and interest on security deposits. I just saw the posting of one such lawsuit in the Chicago Reader. New West Realty Assoc. is being sued for alleged violations on failing to properly pay interest, failing to provide the proper security deposit receipts and failing to give the tenants the CRLTO summary. It is unlikely that a small landlord will be involved in a class action lawsuit, buy you can still be subject to fines as great as double the deposit if you don’t follow the rules in the CRLTO. Also if you have a dispute or eviction case the CRLTO can be used against you, if you can’t prove you provided the proper receipts or notifications. No matter how small or temporary a landlord you might be please read and implement the rules in the CRLTO. Here is a link to the summary that you need to provide your tenants with, and make sure you have a signature or initials that they got a copy of it on the lease agreement.

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