Chicago Life Safety requirements in effect soon

MAJOR LANDLORD ALERT: July 16, 2012 is fast approaching! On that date, the March 14, 2012 amendments (published on April 16, 2012 and effective 90 days thereafter) for the amendments to the Chicago Life Safety ordinance requirements for larger buildings go into effect.  Life Safety Evaluations are required for buildings taller than 80 feet tall built before 1975 without sprinkler systems which are not used for “transient” uses (such as a hotels).

The recent amendments add a new requirement for landlords.  Section 13-196-206(F)(2) provides:

(2)     Disclosure to new and renewing tenants – Required when.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (F)(4) or (F)(5) of this section: Before any person initially enters into or renews a rental or lease agreement of any type for a dwelling unit in any building for which a life safety compliance plan is required under this section, the owner of such dwelling unit or such owner’s agent shall provide such prospective or existing tenant with a current copy of the written disclosure statement required under subsection (F)(1) of this section.  Upon distributing the required disclosure statement to such tenant, the dwelling unit owner or such owner’s agent shall write on the disclosure statement the date on which such distribution occurred.  Such date shall be signed or initialed by the dwelling unit owner and tenant or by their respective agent(s).

As such, Chicago landlords in buildings covered by the law must give yet another disclosure to their tenants.  Landlords can check on the status of their building on the City of Chicago’s website.  The City of Chicago has also prepared a “sample form” for landlords making the disclosure.

Chicago landlords need to remember this “one more form”  Is this one important?  You bet!  The penalty for a violation is found in section 13-196-039 of the law:

(a) Any person who fails to make a report or to maintain an exterior wall or enclosure as required by Section 13-196-031 through and including Section 13-196-037, or any person who violates Section 13-196-030, or any person who violates any requirement of Section 13-196-204 or through and including Section 13-196-209, shall be subject to a fine of not less than $1,000.00 and not more than $2,500.00 for each offense. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.

What?  A minimum fine of $1000 (up to $2500) per day?  That’s what it says.

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