State Legislative Update

Advocacy News ,

With Primary Over Focus Shifts to Legislation 

With the Primary over, attention has turned to passing laws. Seven weeks remain in this session which, as expected, is moving at rapid pace. CAA continues to stay engaged with many vital issues. Legislation allowing for statewide rent control, regulating service and emotional support animals, amending the real estate license law, requiring sealed eviction records, and penalizing landlords for asking about immigration status is all under serious consideration in the Illinois legislature. 

Legislative Highlights 

• OPPOSE RENT CONTROL -- SB2010/Biss (D, Evanston) and HB2430/Guzzardi (D, Logan Square) -- Identical bills would repeal the RENT CONTROL PRE-EMPTION ACT to allow all communities to implement rent control provisions statewide. CAA strongly opposes this legislation. Clearly, economic research indicates rent control is not an effective public policy for creating affordable housing and the opposite result occurs. Studies indicate that rent control discourages investment in new and existing rental housing, erodes property values, and leads to a shortage of quality affordable rental housing. CAA and other organizations are working diligently against this legislation. 

• SUPPORT -- Service and Emotional Support Animal Legislation -- HB4912/Thapedi (D, Chicago) --The bill creates the Assistance and Service Animal Integrity Act to establish provisions for both landlords and tenants. CAA is a part of on-going legislative negotiating sessions centered on allowing a landlord to ask for reliable documentation of the disability and disability-related need for the animal. Both supporters and opponents agree that falsifying documentation is at the heart of this issue for everyone, however strong concern exists over how to implement requirements and possible penalties. 

• OPPOSE -- Sealing of Court Eviction Records -- HB 4760/ Mah (D, Chicago) -- The bill allows for the sealing of all court eviction files. CAA’s careful analysis of this proposal indicates that such action would be unconstitutional as well as go against a long history of case law. Upon filing an order for eviction proceedings, a circuit court clerk would be required to immediately seal the court file. Clearly this legislation would hinder apartment owners and managers from providing safe, quality and professionally maintained housing for all renters. CAA is part on on-going negotiations with the sponsor and tenant groups. 

• OPPOSE -- Sealing of Court Eviction Records -- HB4968/Wallace (D, Chicago)-- Like HB4760 above, this bill permits the sealing of eviction court records. However, unlike HB4760, this bill provides that upon motion or petition, the court shall order the sealing and impoundment of a court file for an eviction action in which the court does not find that a tenant or an occupant has materially breached the lease. 

• WATCH and Continue to work on new language -- Immigrant Tenant Protections -- SB3103/Castro (D, Chicago) and HB5519/Mah (D, Chicago) -- The bill creates a new Act to prohibit all landlords from asking a perspective or currant tenant about his or her immigration status. The bill also makes a landlord subject to litigation if the landlord violates the new statute. Currently as written, this bill would allow landlords to be sued for violating this new Act and allow third-party lawsuits to be filed against landlords for violations. Since the bill’s introduction, CAA has been involved in negotiations with both sponsors and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund. We have been addressing CAA’s concerns regarding allowing third-party litigation and the affirmative defense provisions. 

• WATCH -- Proposed amendments to the Real Estate License Law -- Although the re-write of the Real Estate License Act is expected to take place in 2019, IDFPR asked to have several bills introduced this year. Currently only a few of these bills are moving in the legislative process: 

  • HB5097 and SB3109 - prohibits IDFPR from prohibiting a real estate license solely based on citizenship status 
  • HB5210 and SB3399 - allows real estate brokerages to simply notify IDFPR that branches are operating rather than having to apply for a separate license for each branch
  • HB5505 and SB3036 - makes minor change to term limitations for the Real Estate Administration and Disciplinary Board

CAA Advocacy Day -- Wednesday, May 9
Sign up for CAA Advocacy Day in Springfield, Illinois on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. The day begins at 11a.m. with a legislative briefing from issue experts to prepare you when we head to the Capitol to visit with your legislators to discuss pending issues impacting residential rental property. The day ends around 3:30p.m. with a debriefing regarding your legislative discussions. Clearly, CAA is facing many vital issues affecting all apartment owners and managers. Your voice is needed. To sign up, contact CAA.