Well, we had heard rumors that the County was going to release some additional guidance on the application of the Just Housing Amendment in practice. Earlier this week, they did just that. The materials do not clear up many of the questions plaguing those of us “on the ground” and some of the information in the materials is contrary to the actual verbiage in the rules (so landlords need to carefully evaluate these materials). We will try to discuss some of this in the coming days. In the meantime, here is a link to the Cook County Human Rights Commission’s web page on the Just Housing Amendment.
On that page, you will find FAQs for housing providers (landlords) and applicants (tenants). The County has also released a number of sample letters to assist landlords in providing the notices required under the Amendment. Finally, there is a sheet that details the definitions used in the rules and ordinance. This will assist landlords in being careful and precise with the verbiage they use as they navigate the ordinance. Finally, there is a worksheet to help landlords work through the process of handling an individualized assessment. At the end of the day, this ordinance is a sea change in how landlording is done in Cook County and, unfortunately, all landlords will have to invest some time and resources in getting up to speed and then facile with these rules.
If you are a Cook County landlord looking for consultation and advice on “best practices” or need some help crafting the forms and notices required to be provided before accepting an application or within the process, we can help with that. Feel free to contact us to see if we are a match for an engagement.