CHICAGO — On Friday, the city took the landlords of 20 properties, or 280 residential units, to an emergency heat court hearing to force them to restore heat for their tenants after last week's frigid temperatures yielded hundreds of complaints from renters and nearly 500 property inspections from the city.
On the heels of Friday's court hearing, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the city will be identifying landlords who repeatedly are cited for "failing to provide basic services and protections, such as adequate heat" to publish a "bad landlord list" online.
Landlords with more than three cases filed in Administrative Hearings court within the last 24 months will also be targeted on the list. Administrative hearing cases include no heat, lack of working smoke detectors, illegal porches and other similar violations, according to a news release.
The move follows reports that the Metropolitan Tenant Organization, a nonprofit which aims to educate, organize and assist tenants on issues related to their housing rights, saw a surge in calls for heat-related problems from Chicago renters, including more than 2,000 visits to its website Thursday, a record for the group.
The new list, which will be available in a few weeks, will position the city to impose penalties against the landlords, such as "making them ineligible for city land, zoning changes, business licenses and any building permits unrelated to addressing their violations," according to a city news release.
The city will continue to pursue landlords who refuse to comply with the administrative hearing process.
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