What The RLTO Means For Landlords

RLTO stands for Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance. It was passed in January of 2021 but didn’t go into effect until June of the same year. The ordinance governs and promotes a healthy relationship between landlords and their tenants. For example, after the RLTO passed, there were lockout provisions that went into effect immediately. Landlords could not:

  • Change or add locks
  • Remove or block doors or windows
  • Cut off utilities or remove appliances and personal property
  • Threaten to do any of the above

The RLTO has sections for both tenants and landlords. Both parties should read the document in its entirety. For example, one of the first sections discusses disclosure of costs. Although this outlines a tenant’s rights, there is a significant amount included for landlords. 

Landlords are obligated to disclose the cost of utilities if the tenant is paying them. How are they supposed to do this? The landlord will provide documentation explaining how much the utilities cost for the previous 12 months. If the unit is new, the landlord gives estimates based on a similar unit. If that is unknown, the landlord will have to declare that. 

Here are some additional tenant rights as specified by the RLTO:

  • Habitability standards
  • Adequate heat 
  • Unlawful entry (by the landlord)
  • Terminating leases & withholding rent (specific circumstances apply)
  • Obligations of a tenant

The things discussed inside the RLTO promote a healthy business relationship between a landlord and a tenant. Try not to think of it as a means to gain an unfair advantage or leverage. When you read the tenant’s obligations, you see that the tenant is still supposed to be respectful of the unit and his or her neighbors.

Landlord Rights

Much like the previous section, the RLTO talks about landlords as well. The RLTO addresses the following:

  • The landlord’s right to entry (when and why)
  • Landlord’s ability to create rules and regulations for his or her property
  • What the landlord can do when he or she is not receiving payment
  • Determination of abandonment 
  • What to do if the tenant is not in compliance with the rental agreement

How To View The RLTO

The purpose of the document is to prevent one side from taking advantage of the other. For example, some places require non-refundable move-in fees and large security deposits. Some landlords might ask for these and then use the money for routine maintenance. That is now prohibited. 

Landlords will even have to give an itemized list detailing what the move-in fee is for. And for the landlord, it spells out precisely what can and cannot be done when your tenant is not paying rent or is destroying your property. 

Auricchio Law Offices 

The Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance is not going to end disputes. It does give a framework for how to take action. If you are involved in a landlord/tenant dispute, contact Auricchio Law Offices for your free consultation. We will provide you all the legally available options to protect your rights. 

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Auricchio Law Offices

Auricchio Law Offices in Chicago provides a complete range of real estate services. We facilitate residential and commercial real estate transactions, advise and represent condominium associations, and represent property owners in real estate litigation. Whatever your real estate issue, we will work diligently to achieve your goals in a timely and efficient manner.

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