To Avoid a CRLTO Violation, 48 Hours’ Notice Required to Show a Rental Unit

MRED has received multiple complaints from CAR members regarding an inability to show rental units requested from a cooperating brokerage within a 48-hour time frame. It is imperative landlords in the City of Chicago remain in compliance with the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (CRLTO) to avoid penalty.

To comply:

  • A landlord is required to give a tenant, at a minimum, 48 hours’ notice for access to the unit.
  • If you are requesting to see a rental unit, expect the showing will not occur for at least 48 hours after your request. Please do not contact MRED if you are being denied access as again, 48 hours notice is required.

Procedure for accessing the unit

A landlord may not abuse the right of access or use the right of access to harass the tenant. The Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance sets out the procedure for access:
  1. A landlord may access the unit with consent of the tenant. However, the tenant may refuse consent if the access is not for a proper purpose, at a proper time and with proper notice.
  2. Except in a case of emergency or necessity when repairs to another part of the building unexpectedly require access to the unit, the landlord must give 48 hours’ notice to the tenant.  Notice to the tenant must be via mail, telephone, or other reasonable means designed in good faith to provide notice to the tenant.
  3. Access must be made at reasonable times (except in the case of an emergency). Access between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM or at any other time requested by the tenant is presumed reasonable.

Penalty for unlawful access under the CRLTO

If a landlord makes unlawful entry, lawful entry in an unreasonable manner, or makes repeated, unreasonable demands for entry, the tenant may:
  1. Obtain an injunction against the landlord
  2. Terminate the rental agreement
  3. Recover one month of rent or twice the damage sustained, whichever is greater
  4. Recover attorney fees and costs
For questions regarding the CRLTO, or any Professional Standards related items, please contact CAR’s Professional Standards at