February 3, 2015

Mayor Emanuel Announces First Step Against Problem Landlords

List Identifies Residential Building Owners Repeatedly Cited for Failure to Provide Tenants with Basic Services and Protections

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the City of Chicago is poised to take the first step against negligent residential building owners identified on the new Problem Landlord List. This week the City will begin mailing letters to problem landlords, notifying them of their placement on the list and the consequences they have earned for failing to provide basic services and protections for their tenants.

“Ensuring that children and families throughout the city have a warm, safe place to call home is everyone’s top priority,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We are putting these negligent landlords on notice that we mean business. We will not standby and allow these landlords to neglect the services and protections their tenants are entitled to under the law.”

Those on the Problem Landlord List will be warned that they face added penalties that take effect on March 28, 2015. Those penalties include being ineligible for City land, zoning changes, business licenses, and any building permits unrelated to addressing their violations. The worst cases may even be taken to court for forfeiture, in which some landlords could lose their properties to third parties.
“Mayor Emanuel has made very clear that there will be consequences for any landlord who does not provide the legally established services and protections to their tenants,” wrote Felicia Davis, Commission of the Chicago Department of Buildings, in the letter. “These protections are not trivial, and we will not allow any landlord operating in the City of Chicago to treat them as such.”

Along with the letter, problem landlords will receive information on all open violations in the City’s records for the property that earned them a spot on the list, along with the steps they must take to be removed from the list.

The Problem Landlord List, first published last week, identifies residential building owners that have been repeatedly cited for failing to provide tenants with basic services and protections, such as adequate heat, hot water, and working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Since its posting on January 26, 2016, the website has been viewed over 150,000 times.

The new list is the direct result of the Eri’ana Patton Smith and Coleman/Clark Kids Tenant Protection Ordinance, approved by City Council on January 21, 2015, honoring Carliysia Clark, Carlvon Clark, Shamarion Coleman and Eri’ana Patton Smith, the children who so tragically lost their lives.

The list and an interactive map of the properties are available online at: http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/bldgs/supp_info/building-code-scofflaw-list.html

If you are a renter and your landlord is not providing adequate services and protections, please contact 311 to file a complaint. The Department of Buildings will inspect your unit and take necessary action against delinquent building owners.

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