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Chicago Property Management Blog

Chicago Housing Ordinances: What Landlords and Tenants Should Know

Chicago has established several ordinances regulating rental housing and the landlord-tenant relationship. As housing providers and community members, it is important that we understand these ordinances to ensure compliance and promote safe, equitable living conditions for all. Some of the key housing ordinances in Chicago include:

  • Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO): The RLTO establishes rights and responsibilities for residential landlords and tenants in Chicago. It covers security deposits, notice periods, essential services, and more. The RLTO aims to create a fair legal framework for the rental housing market.
  • Building Code: The Chicago Building Code sets minimum health and safety standards for all buildings in Chicago, including residential rental properties. It covers structural integrity, fire safety, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and other requirements. The Building Code is enforced through inspections and helps ensure that housing in Chicago is safe, accessible, and up to code.
  • Fair Housing Ordinance: Chicago's Fair Housing Ordinance prohibits discrimination in the rental, sale, financing, and advertising of housing based on characteristics like race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military discharge status, and source of income. The ordinance aims to promote equal housing opportunity and access for all Chicago residents.
  • Condominium Ordinance: The Condominium Ordinance regulates the creation and operation of condominium associations in Chicago. It specifies requirements around association bylaws, budgets, meetings, elections, and more. The ordinance protects the rights of condo owners and establishes standards for governance and management. 
  • Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO): The ARO increases the supply of affordable housing in Chicago by requiring developers to set aside a percentage of new residential units as affordable or contribute to the city's Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund. The ARO aims to promote mixed-income neighborhoods and fair access to housing for low- and moderate-income residents.  

For landlords, property managers, tenants, and community members, understanding Chicago's housing ordinances is key to navigating the rental market successfully and upholding high ethical standards. By promoting compliance with these ordinances, we can work together to build a city of safe, affordable, and equitable housing for all.

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