On Wednesday August 21st, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed into law Senate Bill 1090, making Illinois only the second state to prohibit landlords from evicting tenants solely because they are living in the U.S. illegally. The bill also prohibits landlords from reporting or threatening to report a tenant’s immigration status to authorities as a means of intimidation, in retaliation for exercising their rights as tenants, or to force them to agree to move out. The law does not prevent landlords from enforcing existing terms of the lease or evicting tenants for permissible reasons, only from doing so based on immigration status.
The new law takes effect immediately and allows a tenant to sue their landlord for using the tenant’s immigration status in an impermissible way. Landlords who violate this law can face a civil penalty of up to $2000.
One of the primary goals of this law is to protect from situations where a tenant may be frightened to ask for repairs or report a housing code violation out of fear that a landlord would retaliate by reporting the tenant’s immigration status to authorities.In order to protect the purpose of this law, the act specifies that if a civil action is brought involving a tenant’s housing rights, no inquiry into the tenant’s immigration status is permitted. This law is intended to serve as a safeguard to ensure that all tenants are free to exercise their rights under the terms of their lease.
For more information regarding landlord tenant law or other matters, contact Sherer Law Offices at (618) 692-6656.
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