Sec. 42-810 - Landlord Obligations

 

A. The landlord shall maintain the premises in compliance with all applicable provisions of any relevant municipal code and section 42-805(C) and shall promptly make any and all repairs to fulfill this obligation.

 

B. The landlord and tenant of any dwelling unit may agree that the tenant is to perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations, or remodeling only if:

 

1. The agreement of the parties is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading obligations of the landlord and is set forth in a separate writing signed by the parties and supported by adequate consideration; and

 

2. The agreement does not diminish or affect the obligation of the landlord to other tenants on the premises.

 

C. The landlord obligation to provide a written notice concerning habitability.

 

1. Before a tenant initially enters into or renews a rental agreement for a dwelling unit, the landlord, or any person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on their behalf, shall disclose to the tenant in writing:

 

a. Any code violations which have been cited by the municipality or other oversight body during the previous 12 months for the dwelling unit and common areas and provide written notice of the pendency of any code enforcement litigation or administrative hearing. The written notice shall provide the case number of the litigation and/or the identification number of the administrative hearing proceeding and a listing of any code violations cited;

 

b. Any notice of intent by the municipality or any utility provider to terminate water, gas, electrical, or other utility service to the dwelling unit or common areas. The disclosure shall state the type of service being terminated, the intended date of termination, and whether the termination will affect the dwelling unit, common areas or both.

 

2. If the landlord fails to comply with section 42-810(C), the tenant may terminate the rental agreement by written notice. The written notice shall specify the date of termination no later than 30 days from the date of written notice. In addition, if a tenant, in a civil legal proceeding against an owner or landlord, establishes that the landlord has violated this section, the tenant shall be entitled to recover one (1) month’s rent or actual damages, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney’s fees.

 

D. The landlord has an obligation to maintain the premises free from bed bugs.

 

1. Landlords subject to this section must provide to all prospective and current lessees with a copy of the current, approved U.S. Environmental Protection Agency federal pamphlet on bed bug prevention, detection and control.

 

2. In any rental dwelling unit in which an infestation of bed bugs is found or reasonably suspected, it is the responsibility of the landlord to:

 

a. Provide pest control services by a pest management professional until such time that no evidence of bed bugs can be found and verified;

 

b. Maintain a written record of the pest control measures performed by the pest management professional on the rental dwelling unit. The record shall include reports and receipts prepared by the pest management professional. The record shall be maintained for three (3) years and shall be open to inspection by authorized city personnel, including but not limited to employees of the departments of health and buildings.

 

3. In any multiple rental dwelling unit building in which an infestation of bed bugs is found or reasonably suspected, it is the responsibility of the landlord to:

 

a. Provide pest control services by a pest management professional until such time that no evidence of bed bugs can be found and verified within the building or portion thereof, including the individual rental dwelling units; 

 

b. Maintain a written record of the pest control measures performed by pest management professional on the building. The record shall include reports and receipts prepared by the pest management professional. The record shall be maintained for three (3) years and shall be open to inspection by authorized city personnel, including, but not limited to, employees of the departments of health and buildings.

 

4. A landlord shall provide the pest control services within ten (10) days after:

 

a. A bed bug is found or reasonably suspected anywhere on the premises;

 

b. Being notified in writing by a tenant of a known or reasonably suspected bed bug infestation on the premises or in the tenant's rental dwelling unit.

 

5. The extermination of bed bugs shall be by inspection, and if necessary, the treatment of the dwelling unit on either side of the affected dwelling unit and the dwelling unit directly above and below the affected dwelling unit. This pattern of inspection and treatment shall be continued until no further infestation is detected.

 

6. The tenant shall notify the landlord in writing of any bed bug detection within 48 hours of noticing the presence of any bed bugs.

 

7. If the landlord fails to notify the tenant of the intention to comply with section 42- 810(D) after receipt of written notice, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement by written notice. However, the tenant may exercise the right to terminate the rental agreement only if the tenant first gives the landlord written notice of the landlord’s breach of this section and the landlord does not remedy the breach within two (2) business days after the tenant delivered the written notice of breach. The written notice that the tenant intends to terminate the rental agreement shall specify the date of termination no later than 30 days from the date of written notice. The written notices required by this section may be delivered electronically if the parties have previously communicated electronically. In addition, if a tenant in a civil legal proceeding against an owner or landlord establishes that a violation of this section has occurred, they shall be entitled to recover one (1) month’s rent or actual damages, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney’s fees. The tenant shall not have this remedy if the tenant unreasonably refused to cooperate with or unreasonably delayed the extermination process.

 

E. The landlord has an obligation to disclose lead hazards.

 

1. The landlord must follow all applicable municipal, state and federal regulations regarding lead poisoning and must specifically:

 

a. Provide all prospective and current lessees with a copy of the current, approved U.S. Environmental Protection Agency federal pamphlet on lead-based paint disclosure; and

 

b. Disclose any known lead hazards.

 

2. If the landlord fails to comply with section 42-810(E) after receipt of written notice, the tenant shall recover one (1) month’s rent or actual damages, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney fees.

F. The landlord has an obligation to disclose information about ownership, management and agents.

 

1. The landlord or any person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on their behalf shall disclose to the tenant in writing, on or before the commencement of tenancy, the name, address, and telephone number of:

 

a. The owner or person authorized to manage the premises;

 

b. A person authorized to act for or on the behalf of the owner for the purpose of service of process and for the purpose of receiving of notices and demands.

 

2. A person who fails to comply with section Sec. 42-810(F) becomes an agent of each person who is a landlord for the purpose of:

 

a. Service of process and receiving of notices and demands;

 

b. Performing the obligations of the landlord under this Article and under the rental agreement and expending or making available for that purpose all rent collected from the premises.

 

3. The information required to be furnished by this section shall be kept current.

 

4. This section extends to any successor landlord, owner or manager.

 

5. If the landlord fails to comply with section 42-810(F) after receipt of written notice, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement by written notice. However, the tenant may exercise the right to terminate the rental agreement only if the tenant first gives the landlord written notice of the landlord’s breach of this section and the landlord does not remedy the breach within two (2) business days after the tenant delivered the written notice of breach. The written notice that the tenant intends to terminate the rental agreement shall specify the date of termination no later than 30 days from the date of written notice. The written notices required by this section may be delivered electronically if the parties have previously communicated electronically. In addition, if a tenant in a civil legal proceeding against an owner or landlord establishes that a violation of this section has occurred, they shall be entitled to recover $200 in damages in addition to any other damages, attorney’s fees, or remedies that the tenant may also be entitled.

 

G. The landlord has an obligation to disclose foreclosure.

 

1. Within seven (7) days of being served a foreclosure complaint, an owner or landlord of a premises that is subject to the foreclosure complaint, shall disclose, in writing, to all tenants of the premises that a foreclosure action has been filed against the owner or landlord. An owner or landlord shall also disclose, in writing, the notice of a foreclosure to any other third party who has a consistent pattern and practice of paying rent to the owner or landlord on behalf of a tenant.

 

2. Before a tenant initially enters into a rental agreement for a dwelling unit, the owner or landlord shall also disclose, in writing, that they are named in a foreclosure complaint.

 

3. The written disclosure shall include the court in which the foreclosure action is pending, the case name, case number and shall include the following language: “This is not a notice to vacate the premises. This notice does not mean ownership of the building has changed. All tenants are still responsible for payment of rent and other obligations under the rental agreement. The owner or landlord is still responsible for their obligations under the rental agreement. You shall receive additional notice if there is change in owner.”

 

4. If the owner or landlord fails to comply with section 42-810(G), the tenant may terminate the rental agreement by written notice. The written notice shall specify the date of termination no later than 30 days from the date of written notice. In addition, if a tenant in a civil legal proceeding against an owner or landlord establishes that a violation of this section has occurred, they shall be entitled to recover $200 in damages in addition to any other damages, attorney’s fees or remedies to which the tenant may also be entitled.

 

H. Limitation of Liability

 

1. Unless otherwise agreed upon, a landlord who sells the premises is relieved of liability under the agreement and this Article for events occurring after the conveyance and occurring subsequent to written notice to the tenant of the sale.

 

2. Unless otherwise agreed, the manager of the premises is relieved of liability under the rental agreement and this Article for events occurring after written notice to the tenant of the termination of their management.

 

I. The landlord shall provide a summary attachment of the Cook County Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance as set forth in section 42-814. If the landlord fails to comply with section 42-810(I), the tenant may terminate the rental agreement by written notice. However, the tenant may exercise the right to terminate the rental agreement only if the tenant first  gives the landlord a written notice of the landlord’s breach of this section and that also provides notice that the landlord must remedy the breach within two (2) business days after the tenant delivered the written notice of breach. The written notice that the tenant intends to terminate the rental agreement shall specify the date of termination no later than 30 days from the date of written notice. The written notices required by this section may be delivered electronically if the parties have previously communicated electronically. In addition, if a tenant in a civil legal proceeding against an owner or landlord establishes that the landlord has violated this section and failed to remedy the breach within two (2) business days from the date the tenant delivered written notice of the breach, the tenant shall be entitled to recover $200 in damages in addition to any other damages, attorney’s fees, or remedies that the tenant may also be entitled.

 
 
 
 
 

42-810(C) looks like Chicago's 5-12-100, without the detour through two other sections to find a remedy.  Here Cook County was nice enough to tell us that if the property has been cited by the local code enforcement body, and the landlord doesn't disclose this in writing to the tenant before they enter into the lease, there is no cure period and the tenant can terminate the lease by giving the required written notice.  They can even recover a month's rent and attorney fees. 

 

This section is going to find itself in court a lot.

42-810(F) here could get some landlords in trouble, if they are still disclosing only a P.O. Box to tenants, which cannot be an address for receipt of service of process. 

 

The tenant will have to serve the landlord with a written notice of the breach of 42-810(F) before that section can get them anywhere, and the landlord will have to blow the two business days allowed for them to cure the breach.  But the tenant's notice doesn't seem to have to tell the landlord that they'll recover $200 or terminate their lease if the disclosure is not made in two days. 

 

It seems a second written notice is contemplated here, after the landlord misses their two-day cure period, where the tenant gives notice of their termination date  

42-810(I) (that's I not L) says the tenant can terminate the lease if the landlord fails to attach the new Cook County RTLO Summary to leases and renewals, but not without first giving the landlord a written notice of the landlord's breach of the section AND that the landlord "must cure that breach within two business days".  If the landlord misses that two day deadline, the tenant can terminate the lease and recover $200.