The Proposed Ordinance
On Wednesday, May 20 Mayor Lightfoot introduced an ordinance affecting non-renewals of existing leases and termination of month-to-month leases. The proposal would require landlords to:
- give a tenant 90 days notice before terminating a lease (an increase over the current 30 days notice required, although leases shorter than six months would still require 30 days notice)
- pay a $2,500 relocation fee to the most recently departed tenant if a landlord rehabbed, converts to condominium or demolished the unit within 90 days of the tenant leaving.
You can view Mayor Lightfoot’s drafted ordinance here. It was co-sponsored by Aldermen Leslie Hairston (5th), Roderick Sawyer (6th) and Walter Burnett (27th).
Our Stance & Outlook
We will always defend private property rights. Proposals like these discourage investment in our communities. A 90-day notice equals quarter-to-quarter tenancy – an entire season, tripling the long-held 30-day notice for move out.
The proposal seeks relocation fees for simply not renewing a lease. If a person owns the property and opts to rent it out, their financial calculation should not have to include paying a tenant $2500 if the housing provider wants to make property improvements after that tenant has already left the property. Property owners shouldn’t have to bear that burden.
The REALTORS® seek practical solutions. We are engaged in conversations with elected leaders to get this to a point where housing providers aren’t significantly hampered and private property rights are upheld. Although the legislation was transferred to the Rule Committee (where you want bad legislation to go), make no mistake: this will be moved to the Housing Committee, and the Mayor has set an expectation of passage in June.
In today’s press conference, the Commissioner of the Housing Department Marissa Novara stated “… [this is] a significant expansion of tenant protections… this is not an end to our work on tenant protections, this is a first step”.
We are prepared to activate our +15,000 members to vigorously defend private property rights. Stay tuned for more information, including a Call for Action.