City of Chicago Renter’s Rights
In the City of Chicago, renter’s rights are pretty vigorously protected by law. In a city that was rife with corruption under Mayor Richard Daly at one time, things have settled down quite a bit and tenants can live in relative peace knowing that their landlords can not abuse them.
Chicago renter’s rights make it against the law for any landlord to dispossess a tenant from his or her dwelling. This means that a tenant can not simply be put out onto the street even if he or she is considerably behind in paying their rent. The landlord is also not allowed to change the lock, plug the locks or add any locks. In other words, the landlord is not allowed to do anything that would prevent a tenant from entering his or her apartment.
The landlord is also not allowed to interfere with the provision of any utilities to the apartment like the heat or electricity. The landlord is not permitted to remove any of the tenant’s personal belongings. In other words, this means that the landlord can not simply have the tenant’s furniture thrown out onto the street. He or she is further precluded from interfering with any appliances contained within the apartment such as a stove or a refrigerator on which the tenant is dependent to live.
These laws are all laid out in something called the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance. Copies of this are available at City Hall and any public library in the city of Chicago. Every person who is a tenant should have a copy and be familiar with what it says. Continue reading