UPDATE: Shortly after publication of this article, the Interest Rate Summary was made available by the City of Chicago and it can be found here. The point about the City’s tardy delivery remains valid.
Why does this happen every year? It is now January 4, 2022 and we still do not have a bilingual interest rate summary from the City of Chicago as required by Section 5-12-170 of the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance. Why?
As most Chicago landlords know, the ordinance requires, among the many disclosures provided to a tenant, that a landlord provide to all tenants signing a lease in 2022 a “separate summary describing the respective rights, obligations and remedies of landlords and tenants with respect to security deposits, including the new interest rate as well as the rate for each of the prior two years.” It is the obligation of the Chicago Commissioner of Housing to prepare this summary. If this summary is not provided, a lease is voidable by the tenant and the tenant will have a claim against the landlord for $100 plus attorneys fees and court costs.
Over at the City of Chicago website, the 2022 interest rate has been released but when a landlord (as of 1/4/2022) clicks on the link provided for the bilingual flyer, they get redirected to the 2021 flyer. This. Is. Unacceptable.
It is hard to comply with the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance. The law provides little, if any, protection or benefit to landlords and imposes strict liability on landlords to comply with its strictures. The VERY LEAST Chicago landlords can expect is that the City of Chicago would provide them with the tools necessary to comply with the ordinance in a timely way.
What can you do? I would encourage Chicago landlords – in a POLITE way – to explain the need to provide a timely copy of the summary necessary to make leases valid in 2022 to the Housing Commissioner’s office. There’s no reason to be mean or snippy – but this is a document we need to make valid leases and it should be as simple as changing a few dates and adding a new line to revise the document and drop it on the City’s website.
If this law is so critical to landlord protections and the City is so adamant that it be enforced in a strict liability fashion, then the City also needs to pay the respect to landlords and the law that is necessary so that those landlords who want to comply can comply. The City needs to make this an end of year/new year priority. There’s not a single good excuse for the summary to be tardy in any year.