Renter's Rights


  • Residential Landlord & Tenant Ordinance - The Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance governs the majority of residential rental agreements in the City. Knowing your rights and responsibilities is key to a good rental relationship. Be sure you know what's expected of you and what you can expect in return. Whether you're a tenant or landlord, there are laws that spell out your rights and responsibilities. For more informatin, click here.

  • Metropolitan Tenant's Organization - The Mission of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization is to educate, organize and empower tenants to have a voice in the decisions that affect the affordability and availability of decent and safe housing.

  • Squared Away (app) - The SquaredAway app helps tenants solve home-related problems with landlords in the quickest, most effective way possible.  SquaredAway is an app designed to establish a line of communication between a tenant and landloard to resolve issues.

  • Chicago Heat Ordinance (Municipal Code 13-196-410) - The Department of Buildings enforces the Chicago Building Code, which includes the Chicago Heat Ordinance. The Heat Ordinance mandates that during cold weather months landlords supply heat to rental units or to any unit where owners do not have individual control of the heat.

    From September 15 through June 1, the temperature inside a rental residence is required to be at least 68 degrees from 8:30 AM to 10:30 PM, and at least 66 degrees from 10:30 PM to 8:30 AM.

    Landlords face fines of up to $500 per day, per violation, for each day they do not supply adequate heat. The reason for lack of heat does not matter -- landlords must follow the law, and apartments must be heated.

    If you are a renter and your landlord is not providing adequate heat or no heat at all, please contact 311 to file a complaint. The Department of Buildings will inspect your unit and we will take action against delinquent owners.
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