Cook County RTLO- Who is Excluded

RTLO (Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance)

On January 28, 2021, the Cook County Commissioners passed the Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance (RTLO) that covers all of Cook County. The ordinance does exclude Chicago which is governed under the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance(CRLTO).

Oak Park, Evanston, and Mt Prospect are also excluded because they already have their own rental ordinances in place.  That leaves 125 other Cook County cities remaining that will need to adopt this new ordinance that goes into effect on June 1, 2021.

8 scenarios where you are excluded from this new ordinance:

  1. Transient occupancy in a hotel or motel;

  2. Residence at a public or private medical, extended care facility, geriatric facility, convent, monastery, religious institution, temporary overnight shelter, transitional shelter, educational dormitory, or in a structure operated for the benefit of a social or fraternal organization;

  3. Occupancy under a contract sale of a dwelling unit if the occupant is the purchaser;

  4. Occupancy in a cooperative apartment by a shareholder of the cooperative;

  5. Occupancy by an employee of a landlord whose occupancy is conditional upon employment in or about the premises;

  6. Residential buildings in which occupancy is limited to six (6) units or less and which are owner-occupied;

  7. A residential unit that is a single-family home, including a single condominium unit, provided that: a. This is the only residential unit leased by the owner, b. The owner or immediate family member has actually resided at the property for at least one (1) month in the 12 months prior to marketing the property, c. The owner (not a management company) personally manages the unit, and d. The owner is not a corporation;

  8. Dwelling units in hotels, motels, inns, bed-and-breakfast establishments, rooming houses, and boarding houses, but only until such time as the dwelling unit has been occupied by a tenant for 32 or more continuous days and tenant pays a monthly rent, exclusive of any period of wrongful occupancy contrary to agreement with an owner. No landlord shall bring an action to recover possession of such unit or avoid renting periodically, in order to avoid the application of this Article. Any willful attempt to avoid the application of this Article by an owner may be punishable by criminal or civil actions.

If a residence is excluded from coverage by these exclusions, the owner or Property Manager of the property must make this exclusion known to prospective tenants in marketing materials and shall prominently state the exclusion on any application materials before the owner accepts any application fees, credit check fees, or move-in fees.

Proposed Cook County Residential Tenant and Landlord Ordinance-RTLO 

Things to keep in mind:

  • The anti-lockout prohibition contained in the ordinance applies to all dwelling units in Cook County.
  • Although you may be exempt from this new ordinance, you must use caution on how you approach this.
  • If you are living in your 6 unit building and are exempt as noted above, you must be prepared to comply with the ordinance if you are going to move out anytime in the next couple of years, because overnight you now are in violation of the ordinance on all units you once were exempt.

Reach out anytime to discuss exceptions or new approaches to stay in compliance.  As Chicago’s Responsive Property Manager we always enjoy talking to Chicago Landlords and want to help them stay compliant within the new legal landscape that seems to be changing each year.