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In collaboration with community partners, LCBH staff attorneys have prepared a sample bed bug infestation notice and instructions for use. Please read and understand the instructions prior to using this sample letter.

Under the Chicago Bed Bug Ordinance, a tenant who sees or suspects bed bugs in their unit must notify the landlord in writing, within 5 days.

The bed bug ordinance applies to all rental units.

You should copy/paste or re-type the letter and include the date, your name, the landlord’s name, etc. where indicated.

The Housing Wage is a familiar figure to housing advocates. Every year for more than 20 years, NLIHC releases Out of Reach, our report on the Housing Wage: the wage one must earn in order to afford a modest rental home in communities across the country. Advocates can use this information to show Members of Congress, state legislators, and local elected officials the great need for affordable housing and its impact on the daily lives of their constituents.

February 2014

Video from the February 2014 2-day National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) Attorney General Grantee Training is available on Instead of webcasting, Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) video recorded the training so the sound and picture are a better quality. ILAO has also divided the training into chapters following the 2-day NCLC training schedule; therefore, you can easily find the sections you want to watch and review. Here are the links to the training:

SquaredAway helps tenants like you solve home-related problems with your landlord in the quickest, most effective way possible.

Refrigerator not working? Bed bugs in your apartment? Have a quick question about your lease? Squared Away makes it easy for you to report and follow-up on the problem.

The City of Chicago, in partnership with tenant and landlord organizations, has formed the Rents Right campaign to educate Chicagoans about the legal responsibilities and rights of renters and property owners. With more than 60 percent of Chicagoans living in rental housing, Rents Right provides landlords and tenants with assistance in meeting their legal obligations and exercising their rights. Rents Right provides mediation for landlords and tenants to resolve disputes in an informal and non-adversarial manner.

This policy brief from the Furman Center and Moelis Institute for Affordable Housing Policy debunks the long-held myth that the influx of households with vouchers causes crime in a neighborhood to increase. Rather, the report finds that housing voucher recipients tend to move into neighborhoods with high existing levels of crime. These findings should reassure communities worried about entry of voucher holders, but also raise questions about whether the Housing Choice Voucher program is reaching its stated goal of helping recipients reach “better” neighborhoods.

Information about tenant rights, leases, landlord duties, security deposits, evictions, and utilities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is pleased to announce the creation of 12 videos in American Sign Language (ASL) with English captioning. These videos provide critical legal and practical information in a format accessible to persons who are Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing. These videos feature Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing Actors who provide important information related to fair housing and fair lending rights under the federal Fair Housing Act.

Eviction Guide at Cook County Sheriff's website

A Plaintiff’s Guide to Eviction Procedure

This is a guide for plaintiffs (usually landlords) on eviction procedures in Cook County and includes information on filing with the Sheriff, scheduling, etc.

This short video helps prepare both landlords and tenants for eviction court. The video focuses on home evictions and introduces viewers to common eviction courtroom procedures. The video is presented daily in Cook County Courthouse Courtroom 1402 at 9a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

This short animation provides a brief summary of rights for Chicago tenants under the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO). Section 5-12-010 says the Ordinance applies to all residential rental agreements in the city. But Section 5-12-020 excludes some rentals (in favor of those landlords). Most notorious is the exclusion of rentals in buildings with 6 or fewer units that are also owner occupied.

This short animation provides a brief summary of rights for Chicago tenants under the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) Section 5-12-050 and Section 5-12-060 which describe the rights of renters to advance notice before a landlord enters their unit, to show to new renters, or for other reasons.

This short animation provides a brief summary of rights for Chicago tenants under the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) on how to get the security deposit back from the landlord and what the tenant's rights are during the rental.

This short animation provides a brief summary of rights for Chicago tenants under the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) Section 5-12-150 which prohibits landlords from retaliating against a tenant who has exercised their rights under law.

This short animation provides a brief summary of rights for Chicago tenants who rent at apartments or condos or a house that is covered by the Chicago Residential Landlord & Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) when a tenant wants to withhold rent to pay for an exterminator, or to fix a leak, or if the tenant needs to break their lease because of a more serious problem like fire, flooding, or other casualty that renders the premises unfit for living.

A guide for people who want to get their security deposit back from their landlord. In Illinois, security deposit laws are based on where you live and in what type of building.

This is the Housing Discrimination web page at the US Dept of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website. Federal law prohibits housing discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. If you have been trying to buy or rent a home or apartment and you believe your civil rights have been violated, you can file your fair housing complaint online.

This is the Fair Housing Division's web page at the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) website. IDHR takes and investigates charges of discrimination involving real estate transactions (rentals, sales, and other transactions) involving residential and real property.

This is the web page for the Cook County Commission on Human Rights (CCCHR). The Commission investigate, conciliates and conducts hearings on complaints of discrimination. In addition, the Commission develops and conducts educational programs designed to prevent discrimination before it occurs and to promote better relations among the Countys diverse racial, ethnic, religious, cultural and social groups.

This is the web page for the Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR). It includes links to resources and a section on filing discrimination complaints.