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Mandatory Landlord Disclosures in Chicago

Chicago landlords must give every new tenant a summary of the city’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance.

When a potential tenant applies to rent a new apartment, landlords are required to give them certain information about the unit (also known as “mandatory disclosures”). Illinois landlords should understand which disclosures are required on a national and state level.

But for landlords in Chicago, city laws require one additional disclosure. Specifically, landlords must give new tenants a written summary of the city’s housing law, the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance.1 Most landlords use a summary published by the City of Chicago, which can be found here. This summary must be attached to every lease given to a new tenant by a landlord. If the lease is oral, the landlord must simply give the summary to the tenant.

If a landlord fails to provide the summary, a tenant may unilaterally terminate their lease by giving the landlord 30 days’ notice. This law is “all or nothing.” If a landlord fails to attache even one page of the summary, courts have held that the landlord has broken the law.2

[1] RLTO 5-12-170

[2] Kopnick v. JL Woode Management Co., 2017 IL App (1st) 152054

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