Town of Cicero Ordinance Regarding the Provision of Heat to Rental Property

On December 22, 1998, the Town of Cicero Board of Trustees amended Section 19-37 of the Town of Cicero Code of Ordinances regarding the Provision of Heat to Rental Property. The amendment requires landlords who do not provide tenants with adequate heat from September 15 to June 1 to pay the relocation costs of their tenants. In a press release dated January 11, 1999, Cicero Town President Betty Loren-Maltese noted that “The Town of Cicero goes to great lengths to provide shelter and warmth for those residents who find themselves without heat due to circumstances beyond their landlords control. However, the taxpayers of the Town should not be paying to shelter tenants of substandard landlords who want to freeze their tenants in order to reduce their heating bills.” The Ordinance requires that tenants contact the Town of Cicero and have a Cicero inspector come out to the property to determine the temperature inside. Please note that the ordinance does provide some exclusions from landlord liability in subsection “f”.

ORDINANCE NO. 93-98

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 19-37 OF THE TOWN OF CICERO CODE OF ORDINANCES REGARDING THE PROVISION OF HEAT TO RENTAL PROPERTY

WHEREAS, the provision of heat is an essential service to which all tenants are entitled during certain months of the year; and

WHEREAS, The Town of Cicero Code of Ordinances sets forth requirements relating to the provision of heat in apartment buildings; and

WHEREAS, tenants who are without heat are frequently relocated for the purpose of protecting their health, safety, and welfare; and

WHEREAS, during the cold weather months many shelters within the Town are fully occupied necessitating the relocation of tenants to other premises; and

WHEREAS the cost of relocating tenants due to the failure of landlords to provide heat should not be borne by the taxpayers of the Town but instead should be borne by the landlords themselves; and

WHEREAS, the President and Board of Trustees of the Town of Cicero have. determined that landlords who are in violation of Section 19-37 of the Town of Cicero Code of Ordinances should be liable for the cost of tenant relocation associated with their violation of Section 19-37 10 of Town of Cicero Code of Ordinances;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT ORDAINED by the President and Board of Trustees of the Town of Cicero, Cook County, Illinois, in the exercise of its home rule powers as follows;

Section 1. Recitals. The foregoing recitals are herein incorporated and made a part of this Ordinance as if fully set forth herein.

Section 2. Amendment of Section 19-37. Section 19-37 of the Town of Cicero Code of Ordinances is hereby repealed in its entirety and replaced with the following:

Sec. 19-37. Rental properties; complaints; notices: relocation.

(a.) Duty to provide heat during certain months. It shall be the duty of every person owning or controlling any rental property in which heat is furnished from a heating plant used in common for the purpose of heating the various rooms and apartments therein, when such heating plant is under the control and supervision of such owner or person in control of such rental property, to furnish heat to such rooms and apartments. Such duty shall be in effect from September 15th of each year to June 1st of the succeeding year.

(b.) Minimum Temperature required. The heat required pursuant to subsection (a) of this Section shall be provided at the following minimum temperatures:

i From 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. – the temperature shall not be lower than 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

ii. From 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. – the temperature shall not be lower than 63 degrees Fahrenheit.

The minimum temperature required hereunder shall be based upon average temperatures throughout the apartment and the minimum temperature required hereunder shall be achieved without undue restriction of ventilation as to interfere with proper sanitary conditions.

(c.) Complaint: Investigation; Notice of violation. No violation of this section may occur until a complaint concerning lack of heat has been received by the Town of Cicero Department of Health, or its designee. Upon receipt of such complaint, or as soon as practicable thereafter, the Town of Cicero Building Department shall dispatch a building inspector to the premises who shall make a determination regarding the temperature of the premises. The building inspector shall take readings with a standard Fahrenheit thermometer, or other thermometer approved by the Town of Cicero Department of Health, in no less than two opposite parts of a room, such thermometer shall be placed no less than four feet nor more than six feet above the floor and at least four feet away from any door or window leading outside. Upon determination of a violation of this Section, the Director of Code Enforcement shall provide verbal notice of the violation followed by written notice made by certified mail to the person owning or controlling the property.

(d.) Penalty. Persons violating this Section are subject to the general penalty provision contained in Section 1-8 of this Code.

(e.) Relocation of tenants in certain circumstances. In circumstances where a violation of this Section is deemed to have occurred, the Town of Cicero may relocate those tenants of the rental property desiring relocation. Actual notice to the owner or landlord is not required prior to relocation of tenants. Appropriate premises for relocation include town shelters and when such shelters are at full capacity, hotels, or motels. If such tenants are relocated to hotels or motels the owner or landlord of the apartment house shall be liable for the cost of relocation in addition to the penalty provided for herein.

(f.) Exceptions. Failure to furnish the heat required under this Section shall not constitute an offense where it is due to a break-down of the beating plant if due diligence is used to have such plant repaired (unless such break-down has been caused by the violation of an existing ordinance relating to the operation of heating plants) nor where it is due to strikes, to general shortage of fuel in the Town, to any act of the tenant who makes the complaint, or to any cause beyond the owner’s control.

Section 3. Savings Clause. This Ordinance shall not affect suits pending or rights existing at the time this Ordinance takes effect but such suits and rights shall continue in force to the same extent and with like effect as if this Ordinance be taken, construed or held to avoid or impair any cause of action now existing under any Ordinance of the Town of Cicero, or any amendment thereto, but as to any consideration of action now existing, such Ordinance and amendment thereto, shall be continued in full force and effect.

Section 4. Effective Date. This Ordinance shall be in full force and effect upon its passage and publication as provided by law.

Passed this 22nd day of December, 1998.

Betty Loren-Maltese, President

Attest: Marilyn Colpo, Town Clerk