The Chicago City Council passed the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) in 1986 to protect the public health and safety of Chicago’s renters. It contains the rights and duties of both landlords and tenants.
The RLTO applies to all apartment buildings in Chicago unless the building has 6 or fewer units and the landlord lives there. Even if your unit is not covered by RLTO, you still have rights under Illinois law.
Some of the landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities under the Chicago RLTO are:
- Landlords must provide the tenants his/her name, address, and telephone number;
- Late fee amounts are limited to $10 for the first $500 of rent and 5% on the rest;
- Landlords cannot ban subletting. The tenant is allowed to sublet to someone as long as that person meets the same qualifications required for all tenants; and
- The tenant always has a right to a jury trial. The lease cannot prevent this.
Landlords in Chicago must give their tenants a written summary of the RLTO. A printable version can be found on the City of Chicago website. If your landlord fails to provide a summary of RLTO, you have the right to terminate the lease upon notice.
Updated: June 2018