Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance Summary - All or Nothing

As previously discussed in this blog, the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (the “CRLTO”) imposes many obligations on landlords that are strictly construed.  One of these requirements is found in Section 5-12-170, which requires all landlords under the CRLTO to attach a copy of the ordinance to the lease when initially offered to the tenant.  A copy of the four page summary can be found on the City of Chicago’s public website.  In a recent First District Appellate case, Kopnick v. JL Woode Management Company, LLC, a landlord attached only a two page summary that left out references to several chapters of the CRLTO.  2017 IL App (1st) 152054, ¶ 22.  The court specifically noted the City of Chicago’s website and held that it was subject to judicial notice.  Id. at ¶ 26.  As such, the summary attached to the complaint could not have been a CRLTO summary described in Section 5-12-170.  Id.  
    The tenant further argued that the lease failed to attach a summary of the most current security deposit information in order to comply with Section 5-12-170.  Id. at 33.  However, as this was raised for the first time on appeal, the court did not address this issue.  The court did, however, agree that a separate summary was required and we note that this information is also included on the City of Chicago’s public website.  Id. at 28.
    While the penalty for a violation of Section 5-12-170 is only $100.00, the tenant is further entitled to all attorneys’ fees incurred in the litigation.  Additionally, Section 5-12-170 states that a tenant can terminate the lease if a summary of the CRLTO is not provided.  While not discussed in the Kopnick case, a consistent ruling would mean that a tenant could terminate the lease even if a partial summary was provided.
    A breach of the CRLTO may seem minor, but once again, the Appellate Court has shown that the costs can be severe.  All residential property owners should seriously consult with an attorney before entering into a lease in Chicago to ensure that they were doing everything possible to follow all CRLTO requirements