Here’s how some exclusions may apply to new Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance
By Michael DeSantis
On Jan. 28, the Cook County commissioners voted unanimously to pass the new Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance (No. 20-3562), which goes into effect in June. This ordinance applies to residential tenancies across Cook County with limited exclusions. We will go through the ordinance in a series of blogs, with this one tackling important sections of the ordinance for everyone.
Section 42-802 covers what situations are excluded from this ordinance. Transient occupancies in hotels and motels are excluded, along with specialized residencies at public and private medical facilities, religious institutions, among others. We will highlight two of the most important exclusions here.
First, there is an exclusion for residential buildings, where occupancy is limited to six units or less and are owner occupied. This is similar to the exclusion in the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance. If this is the situation, you are not subject to all the requirements of this new Cook County ordinance.
Additionally, there is an exclusion not included in the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance that appears to give first-time landlords some breathing room. Your tenancy is excluded from coverage if the Cook County ordinance in your situation satisfies the following: (1.) it is a residential single-family home or condominium unit; (2.) this is the only residential unit leased by the owner; (3.) the owner or immediate family member lived in the property for at least one month in the 12 months prior to putting the unit on the market; (4.) the owner personally manages the unit without a management company; and (5.) the owner is not a corporation. This section is meant for someone who moves out of their current house but now wants to rent it out and this is their first attempt at being a landlord. It is important to note that if any of the above requirements are not satisfied—by buying a second rental property or otherwise—you would be subject to the Cook County ordinance.
This is the first of many blogs to come on this topic. It can be difficult to navigate this new ordinance and we will keep an eye on how the ordinance will be enforced in court. If you need any advice regarding your rental situation, please contact the experienced lawyers at Gardi & Haught Ltd.