To the Editor:
Residential rental tenants in the city of Chicago work hard for the money they spend every month on a place to live.
For those hard-earned dollars, they should also receive the assurance that the buildings they call home meet the basic safety standards required by the city.
I was very proud to vote last month on a measure that will give renters that peace of mind, the Problem Landlords Ordinance.
The Problem Landlords Ordinance identifies landlords and building owners who have failed to meet minimum requirements such as providing adequate heat, hot water and working smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors.
A list of those substandard landlords, in cooperation with the Department of Buildings is then published bi-annually, creating a more transparent, accessible resource for renters.
But the ordinance does more than that. It also makes it clear that the city of Chicago will not tolerate the kind of neglect that jeopardizes our residents’ health and safety.
Owners who appear on the list will be prohibited from obtaining business licenses, receiving zoning changes, acquiring city land or receiving financial assistance like Tax Increment Financing (TIF) or obtaining building permits not related to addressing their violations.
The City Council has taken this critical step toward earning Chicago renters’ trust and ensuring their safety.
Ald. Will Burns (4th)