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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Tenants Facing Rent Hikes Would Get A Lot More Warning Under Alderman’s New Proposal

Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) introduced an ordinance this week that calls for landlords to give tenants more warning before hiking up the rent.

Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) at City Hall.
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LOGAN SQUARE — Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) introduced an ordinance this week that would giving tenants facing rent hikes more advance warning.

The ordinance, introduced Wednesday in City Council, calls for a sliding-scale system, in which landlords would have to provide written notice to renters a certain number of days beforehand, depending on the size of the rent increase.

For example, if a landlord wanted to increase the rent 15 percent or more, he or she would be legally required to provide written notice to tenants 120 days in advance under the proposed law.

That’s more time than what’s currently required in Chicago. Under the current law, landlords are required to give written notice to the tenant at least 30 days before the rent is slated to increase, but not sooner than 90 days before the rent hike.

Moreno’s office couldn’t be immediately reached for comment Friday afternoon. The alderman told the Sun-Times the current law needs updating.

“It gives predictability to renters so they know sooner, rather than later … so we don’t have situations where [the landlord says], ‘Your rent is going up 50 percent and here’s your 30-day notice if you don’t want to re-sign,’” Moreno told the paper.

Brian Bernardoni, spokesman for the Chicago Association of Realtors, told the paper he opposes the legislation because it adds more bureaucracy to an already-complicated process.

Under Moreno’s proposed law, the following stipulations would apply:

  • 30 days’ written notice prior to the effective date of the change for any increase by less than 5 percent
  • 60 days’ written notice prior to the effective date of the change for any increase by 5 percent but less than 10 percent
  • 90 days’ written notice prior to the effective date of the change for any increase by 10 percent but less than 15 percent; or
  • 120 days’ written notice prior to the effective date of the change for any increase by 15 percent or greater

The ordinance is still a long way from approval. It needs approval from the full City Council to become law.