Legislative Update 11.6.23

Posted By: Jon Kozlowski Advocacy News,

Chicago Transfer Tax Increase is Expected to Go to the Voters.

Against our best efforts, on Tuesday, October 31st, the Chicago Committee on Committees and Rules voted to advance (32-16) a resolution submitting a public question by referendum to Chicago voters to amend the real estate transfer tax rates. This resolution provides for a transfer tax increase on the sale of properties valued at $1 million and above in order to generate revenue to combat homelessness. We anticipate it will be voted on and approved by the full City Council on Tuesday, November 7th. Then, the question will appear on the ballot for the March 19th, 2024 election. CAA provided comment at the hearing stating that we expect that if the proposed transfer tax increase is approved, it will impede development and maintenance of affordable and market rate apartments, as well as lead to rent hikes and affect affordable housing. CAA will continue to work with our coalition partners to explore strategies to defeat the referendum this spring.

Evanston Housing Committee Plans to Discuss ‘Just Cause Required for Evictions’ at December Meeting.

On December 5th, the City of Evanston Housing and Development Committee is expected to discuss changes to the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance, which includes a "Just Cause Required for Evictions" section. Under this section, a housing provider must provide the option of renewing a lease for all tenants, unless certain defined qualifications are met. Additionally, the changes add "Tenant Relocation Assistance" requirements for landlords when tenancy is successfully terminated under Just Cause. The changes to the ordinance are tentatively scheduled to be introduced to the full City Council on December 11th.

In October, the committee held a contentious meeting on the proposed changes to the ordinance, with the bulk of the meeting devoted to the Just Cause item. CAA submitted a letter opposing the Just Cause provision in advance of the October hearing and will continue to work against passage of this damaging policy.

Tenant Radon Protection Act: Effective January 1, 2024.

This act requires landlords to provide each tenant any records or reports that indicate a radon hazard exists, the "Radon Guide for Tenants" pamphlet issued by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, and the radon hazard disclosure form. These requirements apply to units on the second story and below. The required guides and forms will be available to CAA members.

The new Act also states that, if a tenant performs a radon test, the tenant must provide the test results to the landlord within 10 days after receiving them. Of note, nothing in the Act implies an obligation for a landlord or tenant to conduct any radon testing or for the landlord to perform radon mitigation. However, the Act provides that a lease may be terminated under certain circumstances, including a landlord’s election not to mitigate.

We will be hosting a legislative and legal update webinar on Monday, November 13th, at 11am, that will provide detailed coverage of the new Tenant Radon Protection Act, among other items. Please register for the event here.