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Who is IAR and How Do They Advocate on Your Behalf

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Who is the IAR?

Illinois REALTORS® is the only advocate for private property rights, at the state capitol in Springfield, and in communities statewide. They stand for excellence in advocacy, education and ethics for real estate practitioners, are committed to the revitalization of Chicagoland communities, and to expanding market opportunities. They’ve become one of Illinois’ largest trade associations, representing 50,000 members involved in all aspects related to the sale, purchase, exchange or lease of Residential or Commercial property in Illinois.

In September, the Cook County Board introduced a Residential Tenant and Landlord Ordinance (RTLO) which aims to regulate the relationship between the Tenant and Landlord. This proposal grants a variety of new rights and remedies to Tenants, and it imposes several new responsibilities and duties on Landlords. The proposal is similar to Chicago’s Landlord-Tenant ordinance, but it goes even further in regard to new duties and limitations imposed on property owners.

Today, the IAR is advocating on your behalf regarding the proposed Cook County RTLO which includes the following conditions:

  • Tenant “right to cure” non-payment of rent before a judge orders eviction

  • Limited late rental fee payments to $10 per month

  • Disclosure to prospective Tenants of utility costs for the previous 12 months

  • Landlord storage of Tenant’s personal items if Tenant vacates a unit

  • Notice of non-lease renewal must be done in no less than 90 days 

  • Landlords cannot charge other “fees” such as move-in fees

On November 16, a public hearing was held to consider this proposal. REALTORS® and association staff testified in opposition. A Call for Action to members was launched in November. On December 16th, the ordinance sponsors delayed a committee vote in the Zoning and Building Committee until late January. 

Illinois REALTORS®, other real estate groups, Tenant rights groups and County commissioners have been involved in a task force on the issue. After continuous lobbying efforts, including a Call for Action to members in Cook County, more modifications were made to the RTLO two days before the scheduled committee meeting.

While many of the modifications were a step in the right direction, several concerns remain. Some of the unresolved points include: the scope of an ordinance exemption for single-family homes and condos that are rented out, a cap on late rent payment fees, and lease renewal timeframes. The task force will regroup in early January 2021 and a full vote by the full county board could take place in late January.

Don’t forget to check with us frequently, as we will be posting updates and the latest information regarding this ordinance. 

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