New Laws Affecting the Multifamily Industry in 2020

Posted By: Tom Benedetto Advocacy News,

Several new laws effective Jan. 1, 2020 may affect the apartment industry or your business.

Recreational Cannabis legalized

Starting January 1, 2020 it will be legal for residents over 21 years of age to purchase and possess up to 30 grams of marijuana in Illinois. Check out the CAA Blog to learn more and be sure to review our new Member Policy Brief: "Marijuana Legalization and Apartment Management"

The Chicago Police Department has been instructed not to enforce local prohibitions on residents using cannabis on their "porch or in a backyard."

Prohibition of Using Arrest Records in Housing Decisions

Beginning January 1, 2020 it will be considered a civil rights violation for any person to use a person's arrest record in any adverse way in a real estate decision or transaction. The bill was signed into law by Governor Pritzker on August 23rd.

Minimum wage increased to $9.25 and then $10.00

The state minimum wage increases from $8.25 to $9.25 on January 1 and will raise to $10.00 on July 1,2020. The wage will continue to raise $1 on January 1 of each year until 2025 (when it reaches $15). 

Assistance and Service Animal Integrity Act

The Assistance and Service Animal Integrity Act addresses a lack of clarity in laws governing emotional support animals and provides apartment owners the ability to verify a disability and need for an assistance animal from residents who request them. 

Emotional support animals are a type of assistance animal that provide emotional support to alleviate symptoms of a person’s disability. Apartment owners have seen a significant increase in reasonable accommodation requests for emotional support animals in recent years, some from residents with dubious claims, for avoiding pet fees, deposits, breed and size limitations. In some cases, residents supply reasonable accommodation request documentation in the form of a letter purchased online for a fee, provided with little or no contact with a mental health professional or person qualified to make a diagnosis. HB 3671 addresses the problem by allowing apartment owners to verify that the individual certifying the resident’s need for an emotional support animal has an actual treatment relationship with the resident.

Just Housing Amendment (Cook County Fair Housing)

CAA Just Housing Guidance CLICK HERE

FOR COOK COUNTY PROPERTIES ONLY The Just Housing Ordinance (“JHO”) was passed on April 25th, 2019, with an effective date of January 1st. CAA negotiated a "Grace Period" through January 31, 2020 in which The Cook County Commission on Human Rights will not enforce penalties for violations of the Just Housing Ordiance. After or before this date, the Cook County Board expects all real estate properties within its boundaries to have aligned operations to the Just Housing Ordinance and its Rules. The penalties for non-compliance will be a fine of between $100.00 $500.00 for each offense, each day a violation continues.

Real Estate License Act (Renewed until January 1, 2030)

Every 10 years, the real estate license law sunsets allowing for a comprehensive review of the license act and recommended changes be discussed, accepted, and implemented.  The current License Law is set to sunset on January 1, 2020. The new License Law has been amended to:

  • Refer to leasing agents licensed under the 2020 Real Estate License Law as residential leasing agents
  • Increase continuing education requirements from 6 to 8 hours every two years in order to include the breadth of information required by the license law
  • Codify prior conviction provisions passed in to law two years

As always CAA will actively educate members on developments pertaining to further state legislation in 2020. To subscribe to CAA "Legislative Updates" email