Sec. 42-805 - Tenant Rights

 

A. In addition to any rights provided under federal or state law, a tenant shall have the rights specified in this section under the circumstances herein set forth.

 

B. Tenant right to disclosure of costs.

1. The tenant shall have the right to disclosure of utility costs. A landlord shall disclose to the tenant whether the landlord or tenant bears the responsibility for payment of the cost of a utility for the dwelling unit.

 

2. In rental agreements in which the tenant pays the cost of a utility for a dwelling unit and is directly responsible to the utility company, the utility service shall be individually metered to the dwelling unit, and the landlord shall disclose to the tenant in the rental agreement the annual cost of service from the utility providing the primary service during the previous twelve (12) months, if known.

 

3. In rental agreements in which the tenant pays the cost of a utility for a dwelling unit to the landlord, the landlord shall disclose to the tenant in the rental agreement the annual cost of service from the utility providing the primary service during the previous twelve (12) months. If the landlord did not own the dwelling unit during the previous 12 months or did not pay the utility costs to the utility provider on behalf of the tenant during the previous 12 months, the landlord may satisfy this requirement by providing cost of service for a similar dwelling unit, if known, or disclose to the tenant that the 8 utility costs are unknown to the landlord.

 

4. When the landlord charges a move-in fee, the landlord shall provide the tenant with an itemized list of the landlord’s reasonable estimate of the costs that comprise the move-in fee and shall not charge the tenant moving into the premises for costs associated with routine maintenance and the upkeep of the premises.

 

C. Tenant right to dwelling that materially complies with habitability.

 

1. A tenant shall have the right to a dwelling that materially complies with habitability and shall have the right to a remedy when the property is not in material compliance with habitability standards.

 

2. Where the property is in a municipality that has adopted a municipal building code, the landlord and tenant may use that municipal code as reference for determining habitability standards. Where the property is in in a municipality that has not adopted a municipal building code or is in unincorporated Cook County, the landlord and tenant may use the Cook County Building Code, Sec. 102-102, et seq., as reference for determining habitability standards.

 

3. Habitability standards shall include, but are not limited to, any of the following circumstances:

 

a. Floors with structural integrity, in sound condition, and maintained in good repair, with the safe load-bearing requirements;

 

b. Buildings, structure, and parts of buildings with structural integrity, in sound condition, and maintained in good repair;

 

c. Appropriate number, width, construction, location, and accessibility of exits, stairway, fire escape or directional signs with structural integrity, in sound condition, and maintained in good repair;

 

d. Appropriate number, location and accessibility of smoke alarms, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, standpipe systems, fire alarm systems, automatic fire detectors, and fire extinguishers;

 

e. Elevators with structural integrity, in sound condition, and maintained in good repair;

 

f. Flush toilet, bathroom sink, bathtub or shower, and kitchen sink with structural integrity, in sound condition, and maintained in good repair;

 

g. Heating facilities and gas-fired appliances with structural integrity, in sound condition, and maintained in good repair;

 

h. Adequate heat, cold water, and hot water in such amounts and at such levels and times as required by the local, municipal, County or state code;

 

i. Adequate hall or stairway lighting with structural integrity, in sound condition, and maintained in good repair;

 

j. Foundation, exterior walls, and exterior roof with structural integrity, in sound condition, maintained in good repair, and substantially watertight and protected against rodents;

 

k. Floors, interior walls and ceilings with structural integrity, in sound condition, and maintained in good repair;

 

l. Windows, exterior doors, and basement hatchways with structural integrity, in sound condition, maintained in good repair and substantially tight with locks or security devises, including deadlatch locks, deadbolt locks, sash and ventilation locks and front door windows or peepholes;

 

m. Screens with structural integrity, in sound condition, and maintained in good repair;

 

n. Stairways or porches with structural integrity, in sound condition, and maintained in good repair;

 

o. Basement and cellar with structural integrity, in sound condition, maintained in good repair, and in a safe and sanitary condition;

 

p. Facilities, equipment and chimneys in safe with structural integrity, maintained in good repair, and in sound working condition;

 

q. Prevention against the accumulation of stagnant water;

 

r. Extermination of insects, rodents and other pests;

 

s. Adequate facilities for refuse disposal;

 

t. Prevention against the accumulation of garbage, trash, refuse, or debris;

 

u. Adequate light and ventilation with structural integrity, in sound condition, and maintained in good repair;

 

v. Plumbing facilities, piping, fixtures, appurtenances, and appliances with structural integrity, in good operating condition and maintained in sound repair;

 

w. Electrical systems, circuits, receptacles, and devices with structural integrity, in sound condition, and maintained in good repair;

 

x. Any other equipment that the landlord agrees to or is required to supply, by any applicable law, with structural integrity, in sound operating condition, and maintained in good repair;

 

y. A dwelling unit and common areas in a fit and habitable condition and in compliance with all applicable local, municipal, state, and federal regulations and guidance.

 

D. Tenant right to adequate heat. From September 15 through June 1 of each year, landlords shall maintain the temperature inside a dwelling to be at least 68 degrees from 8:30 AM to 10:30 PM, and at least 66 degrees from 10:30 PM to 8:30 AM.

 

E. Tenant right to exclusive possession and to be free from unlawful entry.

 

1. If the landlord fails to deliver possession of the dwelling unit to the tenant in compliance with the rental agreement, rent abates until the landlord delivers possession and the tenant may:

 

a. Upon written notice to the landlord, terminate the rental agreement and, upon termination, the landlord shall return within 48 hours all security deposits; or

 

b. Demand performance of the rental agreement and, if the tenant elects, the tenant may maintain an action for possession of the dwelling unit against the landlord or any person wrongfully in possession and recover the damages sustained by the tenant.

 

2. An aggrieved person may recover from the person withholding possession an amount not more than two (2) months’ rent or twice the actual damages sustained by them, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney’s fees.

 

3. If the landlord makes an unlawful entry or a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner or makes repeated demands for entry otherwise lawful, but which have the effect of harassing the tenant, the tenant may obtain injunctive relief to prevent the recurrence of the conduct, or terminate the rental agreement. In each case, the tenant may recover an amount equal to not more than two (2) months’ rent or twice the damages sustained by them, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney’s fees.

 

F. One-time Tenant Right to Pay and Stay. At any time prior to the issuance of any order of possession or eviction order made pursuant to Article IX of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure. 735 ILCS 5/9-101 et seq. the tenant has a one-time right to cure the non-payment of rent by paying the landlord unpaid rent, duly owed from the date of non-payment to the date of payment, together with all filing fees and costs paid by the landlord and all fees and costs expended by the landlord for service of process, but not including attorney fees. If the tenant so pays, then the Court shall vacate any order of possession or eviction order and dismiss the case. If the landlord refuses to provide a total amount due, the tenant may cure by making a good faith payment of the amount that the tenant believes to be due.

A “Pyrrhic victory” is a proverbial expression for a victory which costs nearly as much as a defeat; in allusion to the saying of Pyrrhus after the Battle of Heraclea (c. 280 B.C.), “One more such victory, and we are undone!”

 

4.  Want to charge a non-refundable  move-in or administrative fee?

You need to itemize what it's for, and it can't be for routine costs of getting their unit ready for rental

3. says a tenant can terminate a lease in case of an unlawful entry (most entries without at least 2 days' advance notice) - and no particular kind of notice by the tenant seems required.

F. says a tenant can pay the rent they owe and court costs - but not the landlord's attorney fees - right up to the day of an eviction trial and get out of the whole case.