Resources for 2-4 Unit Owners

The Department of Housing (DOH) maintains a list of resources for use by landlords who own two to four residential units. For further details on any program, click the links below or email DOH staff at

Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO)

Approved in 1986 and amended over the years, the RLTO’s purpose is “to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens” and “to encourage the landlord and the tenant to maintain and improve the quality of housing” citywide.

The ordinance covers most rental properties located in Chicago except units in owner-occupied buildings with six units or less; most units in hotels, motels and rooming houses; dormitories, shelters, employee’s quarters, and non-residential rental properties; and owner-occupied co-ops.

Security Deposit Interest Rates

The Department of Housing, in conjunction with the City Comptroller, sets the interest rate for security deposits each year. 

The rate has been set at 0.01% each year since 2015, based upon the average of the rates of interest on New Year’s Eve for a number of account types at Chase Bank, the commercial bank having the most branches located in the City of Chicago. Leases signed before 2015 are set at different rates.

Just Housing Ordinance

The Cook County Just Housing Ordinance requires landlords to perform an individualized assessment of an individual's criminal conviction background if they are otherwise qualified. Frequently asked questions are available on the program’s website.

Partner Organizations

Chicago Community Land Trust (CCLT)
The CCLT provides working individuals and families with opportunities to purchase homes of their own at prices they can afford.

Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund
Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund is the largest City-funded rental assistance program in the nation and provides rental subsidies in 55 of Chicago’s 77 community areas.

The region’s electric utility has a number of special offers available to income-eligible property owners. 

Community Investment Corporation (CIC)
CIC is a community-based lender for affordable rental housing, working to build vibrant communities, strengthen local businesses, and provide well maintained homes for families by serving as a one-stop resource for local owner-operators and property managers of affordable rental housing.

DePaul Institute for Housing Studies
The DePaul Institute for Housing Studies is one of the Chicago region's leading housing research organizations, and has done extensive research on 2-to-4 unit properties in particular. Their website includes data and reports on Chicago's housing stock.

Elevate Energy
Elevate Energy offers a wide variety of services to help multifamily building owners reduce operating costs, improve their buildings, and support sustainability goals.

Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO)
The MTO is a tenants’ right advocacy group that offers a hotline for both tenants and landlords, 773-292-4988. 

Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Chicago
NHS is a nonprofit organization committed to helping homeowners and strengthening neighborhoods throughout Chicago by offering loans and other services to rehab small, owner-occupied buildings.

Spanish Coalition for Housing
The nonprofit group offers resources and workshops for Latino landlords and other low-to-moderate income families in Chicago.

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