RLTO: We Need Your Stories!

The summer is here, and as expected, the attack on hardworking landlords is starting to come to a boil. One Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune this June produced a front page article in the real estate section entitled “Renters’ Horror Stories” to illustrate examples of incidents that can happen for apartment dwellers and the punitive measures which can be taken against their landlords as a result. While the Chicago Association of REALTORS® does not defend the sometimes egregious actions of bad landlords within the industry, we do know our landlord members oftentimes meet tenants who violate leases, fail to pay rent and destroy property, along with other acts that merit further action and eviction. However, it can be nearly impossible to evict problem tenants, as this process takes time, money and patience, all while rent is rarely able to be collected. Our RLTO advocacy is gaining steam. We are prepared to fight back. We have heard you and your issues with the RLTO, but we need more information. We need your stories.


  • Change “shall” to “may” in the RLTO to encourage judicial discretion.
  • Eliminate mandatory sentencing for landlords for minor or trivial offenses.
  • Create fairness in the RLTO for landlords and tenants — C.A.R. agrees that tenants need protection from bad landlords, but good landlords also deserve protection for their real estate investments.


  • Lawyers prey upon landlords and recoup incredible legal fees for minor offenses to the RLTO.
  • These lawsuits do not benefit tenants and costs often get passed along to tenants.
  • Class action lawsuits are currently being filed by lawyers seeking to gain more benefits off of technical problems with the RLTO.
  • Lawyers have won pro-lawyer opinions in court, allowing them to continue to gain legal fees on appeals in minor cases


  • Advised landlords to stop collecting security deposits, which are the basis for all penalties in the RLTO.
  • Introduced an ordinance with the needed “shall” vs. “may” reform. The ordinance was introduced and is held in committee. We are seeking hearings this fall.


RLTO Stories

We need your stories & insight! If you are a landlord, or have a landlord client who has a horror story involving a problem tenant and has lost property due to legal fees as a result of RLTO infractions, please share your story.