The Chicago Just Housing Amendment is a piece of legislation designed to address housing discrimination based on criminal records. Enacted on October 1, 2019, this amendment significantly impacts the tenant screening process for landlords and property managers in Chicago.
Key provisions of the amendment include:
Limitations on Criminal Background Checks:
Landlords are restricted from considering arrests that did not result in a conviction when making housing decisions.
Convictions older than three years should not be the sole basis for housing denials, unless they involve certain serious offenses.
Landlords are required to conduct an individualized assessment when considering an applicant's criminal history.
Factors such as the nature of the offense, the time that has passed, and evidence of rehabilitation must be taken into account.
Notices and Communication:
If an adverse housing decision is made based on criminal history, the landlord must provide a written notice to the applicant explaining the decision and informing them of their rights to dispute it.
Certain types of housing, such as owner-occupied buildings with six or fewer units, are exempt from the amendment.
The Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR) is responsible for investigating and addressing violations of the Just Housing Amendment.
Landlords and property managers must be well-versed in these regulations to ensure compliance and avoid legal consequences. The amendment aims to promote fair housing practices and reduce barriers for individuals with criminal records seeking housing in Chicago.
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