Chicago Bed Bug Ordinance
“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” If you live in the City of Chicago this may be a reality since the city was recently named the nation’s number one city infested with bed bugs. Bed bugs are small reddish brown bugs that are about the size and shape of an apple seed. They feast on human and animal blood and just one feeding can sustain a bug for a year. They usually bite at night and live in clothing, furniture, bedding and baggage. While they are not known to carry diseases, their bites can cause swelling, redness, itchiness and lack of sleep.
To combat this growing problem, on June 5, 2013, the City Council passed the Chicago Bed Bug Ordinance to resolve the infestations in apartment and condo buildings. The ordinance labels bed bugs a “public nuisance” and persons violating the ordinance can face fines up to $1,000 a day. The ordinance takes effect on December 2, 2013. The ordinance places responsibilities on both landlords and tenants and some of the provisions are highlighted below.
Responsibilities under the Chicago Bed Bug Ordinance
- To provide an informational brochure to tenants starting or renewing a lease.
- Upon notification of a bed bug infestation, landlords must immediately hire a pest management professional to “totally eliminate” the problem, even if this requires multiple treatments.
- To provide written notice to the tenant explaining their responsibilities before any inspection .
- To maintain a written report of any bed bug problems and store receipts for all treatments. These records must be available for inspection by city health officials.
- To inspect and treat all units neighboring the infested unit to ensure the bugs have not spread.
- To send written notification to the landlord of any suspected or known infestation in the tenant’s unit, clothing, furniture or personal property.
- To send written notification to the landlord of any unexplained bites, stings or sores suspected to be caused by bed bugs.
- To cooperate with the landlord in the control, treatment and eradication of the bed bugs, including granting access at reasonable times upon reasonable notice for inspections and treatments.
- To properly dispose of any personal property that cannot treated or cleaned by the pest management services.
- Every association must draft a plan for the detection, inspection and treatment of bed bugs by September 5, 2013 that must be posted on the city health department’s website.
- To immediately report any bed bug incident to the Department of Health.
- To hire a professional pest management service to “totally eliminate” the problem, even if this requires multiple treatments.
- To maintain a written record of all treatments that must be accessible to city health inspectors.
The Chicago Bed Bug Ordinance will be enforced by the Department of Buildings and the Department of Public Health. If any person is found in violation of the ordinance they may be fined $300 to $1,000 per day for each offense.
The ordinance includes more detail than outlined above. Landlords and tenants need to become familiar with the ordinance and take necessary measures to ensure compliance. Brabender & Chiang can provide counsel to ensure full compliance with the ordinance.
“My Landlord Tried To Take Advantage of Me, But My Attorney Empowered Me.”
I had never used an attorney for anything before this experience. I had always been wary of lawyers, but unfortunately, I was faced with a situation in which I thought contacting an attorney would be my best option. From the very first time we talked, Andy really made me feel at ease. He listened to what I had to say, and asked me what result I wanted before giving me his take and advice. At the beginning of this experience, honestly, I was intimidated and afraid that I would end up having to pay a lot of money for an unjust reason. But as Andy worked on my case with me, I began to feel empowered, and at the end of it all, I ended up asking for what I was originally too afraid to ask for, and getting it. Andy made me aware of many things in the law that I never saw (despite the hours of research I did on my own previously). Andy is very responsive; I never had to wait very long for a response, no matter what time it was. He is very knowledgeable about landlord/tenant law, and he never had a problem explaining things that I didn't understand. I would not hesitate to retain Andy's services again, or to recommend his services to anyone I know.
Posted by Kathy, a Landlord & Tenant client, 9 days ago.
Read more testimonials on Avvo.com
© 2013 Brabender & Chiang, LLC