New Laws which affect Illinois Landlords 2012

Illinois Landlords need to be aware of 2 new laws that became effective January 1, 2012. 

The first new law involves the re-keying of rentals between tenants:

Public Act 97-0470 (House Bill 1233) – – – landlord obligation to change lock prior to occupation by new tenant. Amends Illinois’ Landlord and Tenant Act to require landlords in Cook County to change the lock in order to prevent re-entry by a prior tenant. Landlord’s failure to comply will subject landlord to liability for damages suffered as a result of the theft of the new tenant’s property attributable to landlord’s failure to change the lock. Landlord’s obligation to change or re-key the lock is waived if lease delegates the installation of a new lock to the new tenant. Excludes apartment buildings with less than 5 units and the rental of space within a private home that is owner-occupied. The legislation includes no exceptions or special provisions regarding leased real property that a creditor financial institution acquires as OREO. [effective date: January 1, 2012]

 The second law regards the disclosure of elevated Radon levels to all prospective tenants.

Public Act 97-021 (House Bill 141) – – – notice of radon hazard in leased premises. Amends the Illinois Radon Awareness Act to require lessors of real property (dwelling units below the third story above ground level) to notify in writing any potential new lessee of the existence of a radon hazard if the current or prior lessee has notified the lessor in writing of radon test results indicating a radon hazard. If the lessor conducts his/her/its own radon test revealing the existence of a radon hazard, the lessor must disclose the existence of the radon hazard in writing to the current lessee and to any potential new lessee; if the lessor undertakes radon hazard mitigation efforts and a subsequent radon test shows that the radon hazard no longer exists, then the lessor is no longer obligated to make the disclosure. Nothing in this legislation exempts financial institution creditors that become lessors through ownership of OREO with tenants. Expressly states that the lessor has no affirmative obligation to conduct radon testing. [effective date: January 1, 2012]