Local Laws That Punish Tenants and Landlords for Calls to the Police
Have you been unfairly threatened with eviction or a fine because a call to police or arrest happened at your home or on your property? If so, the ACLU of Illinois wants to hear about it.
Many towns and cities in Illinois have laws that punish landlords and tenants by labeling a rental property a “nuisance” when a certain number of calls to police or arrests happen there. In some cases, landlords can be fined for a “nuisance” property, so they respond by evicting their tenants, refusing to renew the lease, or telling tenants not to call 911. This can happen even when the tenant was the victim of the crime or called the police for protection.
However, Illinois recently passed a state statute to protect survivors of domestic or sexual violence and individuals with disabilities from being penalized as a result of calls for help. The new state law says that tenants and landlords who are penalized or threatened with penalties because domestic or sexual violence has occurred at their property, or because of a need for police or emergency assistance as a result of a disability, can ask the courts for help.
If you have been affected by one of these local laws, please tell us your story in the form below.
As a tenant, you may have been affected if:
- Your landlord or the police told you that you could be evicted if you call the police to your home again.
- You were evicted or experienced another negative housing action because a crime happened at your home, even if you were the victim.
- You were evicted or experienced another negative housing action because of 911 calls relating to your disability or on behalf of another person with a disability.
- You were evicted or experienced another negative housing action because of 911 calls responding to domestic or sexual violence, or to a related crime.
As a landlord, you may have been affected if:
- You were encouraged to evict tenants because they called the police, used police services, or experienced crimes on the property.
- You were warned that you could be fined or face other penalties because of police calls or visits on your property, even when the tenants were the victims of crime or called for police protection.
- You were encouraged to evict a survivor of domestic or sexual violence, or an individual with a disability, because of calls to police or crimes committed on the property.
The ACLU of Illinois provides legal representation on certain matters, but solely where the incident occurred in the state of Illinois, or cases involving residents of Illinois. The organization is not a provider of general legal services; it only litigates cases where there has been a violation of a person’s civil rights, primarily by the government. We do not practice criminal law or generally take cases where rights have been violated by a private entity. After receiving your request, it may take up to two weeks to receive a response from the Intake Department. As such, if your case is extremely time-sensitive, you may wish to consult a private attorney. The ACLU of Illinois cannot provide legal advice unless the organization has accepted your case. The receipt of and/or response to your inquiry does not indicate the acceptance of your case.
Please tell us by filling out the form below. Be sure to read about our Intake Procedures before filling out this form. We receive many requests for help, so please bear with us as we try to get to your request. We'll let you know whether we can give you legal assistance. If we can't, we'll try to find another organization that may be better equipped to help.