The Voice of Illinois
Property Owners

Real Property Alliance is
spreading the word about policies
and issues that affect residents.

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Real Property Alliance2020-07-24T19:55:35+00:00

Information every Illinois property owner should know

Find resources and information on policies and issues that affect Illinois residents.

Home Rule allows Illinois communities with fewer than 25,000 residents to impose a variety of taxes and fees.

Home Rule

A community’s vote for Home Rule allows elected officials to raise property taxes without having to first ask voters for direct permission.

Rent control kills development in Illinois, guarantees a never-ending cycle of affordable housing shortages and property tax increases, and ensures a rental property falls into disrepair due to lack of funds.

Rent Control

Rent control backers would argue the policy would lower housing costs. The research shows exactly the opposite happens.

Transfer taxes are assessed when a property is transferred/sold in Illinois. Most of the time, sellers pay. In some communities, buyers are hit with the tax.

Transfer Taxes

Some municipalities impose a tax on buyers and sellers of real estate. These taxes can destroy equity and make housing unaffordable.

Point of Sale Inspections are conducted by municipalities in Illinois to check for obvious building code violations.

Point of Sale Inspections

In many Illinois communities, the seller of an owner-occupied home is required to arrange for a pre-sale inspection. This can delay or kill a home sale.

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Information every Illinois property owner should know

Home Rule allows Illinois communities with fewer than 25,000 residents to impose a variety of taxes and fees.

Home Rule

A community’s vote for Home Rule allows elected officials to raise property taxes without having to first ask voters for direct permission.

LEARN MORE
Rent control kills development in Illinois, guarantees a never-ending cycle of affordable housing shortages and property tax increases, and ensures a rental property falls into disrepair due to lack of funds.

Rent Control

Rent control backers would argue the policy would lower housing costs. The research shows exactly the opposite happens.

LEARN MORE
Transfer taxes are assessed when a property is transferred/sold in Illinois. Most of the time, sellers pay. In some communities, buyers are hit with the tax.

Transfer Taxes

Some municipalities impose a tax on buyers and sellers of real estate. These taxes can destroy equity and make housing unaffordable.

LEARN MORE
Point of Sale Inspections are conducted by municipalities in Illinois to check for obvious building code violations.

Point of Sale Inspections

In many Illinois communities, the seller of an owner-occupied home is required to arrange for a pre-sale inspection. This can delay or kill a home sale.

LEARN MORE

The latest news about COVID-19 and private property rights

FAQs for Consumers

Prior to May 29, 2020, open houses were prohibited per the Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO’s) guidance interpreting the last gubernatorial disaster order.

Beginning on May 29, 2020, real estate brokerages are legally allowed to hold open houses so long as all of the safety measures can be observed. These include limiting groups to ten people or less (including owners and brokers who might be present in the property), social distancing where possible, with face coverings where social distancing can’t be observed and frequent cleaning.

Best Practices:

  • When conducting an open house, consider having the owner or listing broker open doors including closets and cabinets, turning on lights and opening window coverings to reduce the need to touch surfaces.
  • Incorporate a non-discriminatory appointment policy into open house day procedures to cut back on the number of attendees appearing at the same time.
  • Restrict access after each showing to allow time for disinfecting areas of the home previous attendees viewed.
  • Consider providing gloves and booties to all attendees of an open house and requiring face masks for all persons inside the home, even if social distance is maintained.

Even if legally permissible, brokerages should carefully consider whether open houses are the safest option for their clients, their brokers and consumers. Each attendee brings a different set of contacts into the property. Brokerage policies should consider incorporating the use of technologies (like virtual open houses) to reduce physical presence for the early stages of marketing properties. Use appointments in a consistent and non-discriminatory manner to physically view the property and incorporate the best practices from above, while keeping the number of contacts smaller.

If doing a physical showing while following the guidelines issued by DCEO, the state has mandated that citizens keep appropriate social distances to the extent possible, in order to slow down the spread of the virus

FAQs for Landlords (Residential Rental Property Owners)

Prior to May 29, 2020, showings of tenant-occupied properties are prohibited per the DCEO’s guidance interpreting the last gubernatorial disaster order.

As of May 29, 2020, the legal answer is yes, depending on the terms of the particular lease and/or any local, state or federal requirement to give a certain amount of notice to the tenant(s) prior to showing the rental unit. Any showing, after giving the tenant the appropriate notice, must be done in a manner where all the safety measures are observed, that is, physical distancing, face coverings or any other required PPE, small groups, hand washing and sanitization / cleaning of surfaces.

Best Practice:

  • Before entering a tenant-occupied unit, obtain the tenant’s express consent before showing a tenant-occupied unit.

Possibly. Prior to May 29, 2020, the DCEO guidance said that no showings of tenant occupied units were allowed and there were no provisions for a waiver.

As of May 29, 2020, the legal answer is yes, depending on the terms of the particular lease and/or any local, state or federal requirement to give a certain amount of notice to the tenant(s) prior to showing the rental unit. Any showing, after giving the tenant the appropriate notice, must be done in a manner where all the safety measures are observed, that is, physical distancing, face coverings or any other required PPE, small groups, hand washing and sanitization/cleaning of surfaces.

Best Practice:

  • Before entering a tenant-occupied unit, obtain the tenant’s express consent before showing a tenant-occupied unit.

Prior to May 29, 2020, neither the Executive Order addressing essential services, nor the DCEO guidance spoke to inspections of owner or tenant occupied property but it was concluded that, given that DCEO guidance says no “showings” of tenant occupied property are allowed it could be inferred that an inspection should not be allowed if tenant refuses entry.

Based on that inference, entry into the premises for inspection purposes, after giving the tenant notice as required by the lease or local or federal stautes, must be done in a manner where all safety measures are observed, that is, physicial distancing, face coverings, or any other required PPE, small groups, hand washing and sanitization/cleaning of surfaces.

Best Practice:

  • Before entering a tenant occupied unit, obtain the tenant’s express consent for the inspection where possible.

If the tenant does not consent, seek the advice of legal counsel.

Generally, there would be no obligation to notify residents about another tenant’s health status. However, with this new virus and its high rate of contagion, the obligation to notify tenants if another tenant or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19 may vary in accordance with individual lease terms, emerging public health mandates, and potentially evolving industry standards.

If you become aware that a tenant has been diagnosed, be sure to review your lease agreement for provisions that may obligate you to notify tenants about security or safety risks present on the property. Stay alert for any governmental recommendations or mandates that could apply to your situation. The news on the contagious nature of the virus is constantly being updated and new mandates may evolve over time.

Even in the absence of a lease provision, if your tenant has provided you with notice that they have been diagnosed witthe virus, you may have some duty to use the information for the protection of your employees and other residents. You should take appropriate steps to make certain your employees are following the latest guidelines to avoid exposure to the virus. These are steps that can be taken without revealing the identity of the infected tenant.

Consider contacting the tenant who has been diagnosed with the disease to seek permission to divulge their identity to allow your tenants to assess their own exposure to the virus. However, there is no legal obligation for a tenant to notify a property manager if they contract the virus nor to give permission to management to share information with fellow residents. In the absence of permission, or if there is any objection to notifying the community about the presence of the virus on the property, consider contacting an attorney for specific legal advice. While anti-discrimination laws would generally prohibit certain questions about a person’s disability, in light of the fact that COVID-19 is widespread, highly contagious, and potentially very dangerous, some federal agencies have issued guidance relaxing this prohibition. For example, the EEOC and CDC, have each issued guidance to employers and homeless shelters, respectively, permitting symptom-related questions to be asked upon entry to a facility. This guidance suggests that it is permissible for real estate professionals to ask someone to self- disclose any symptoms or known or potential exposures to the virus. While such questions may permit REALTORS® to take necessary safety precautions, remember that many individuals with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, so reasonable precautions should be taken regardless of whether someone knows that they have the virus or is exhibiting symptoms. Although it is permissible to request that an individual self-disclose their exposure to or symptoms related to COVID-19, the COVID- 19 crisis does not provide a basis to ask someone non-COVID-19-related health or medical questions.

If a property manager does receive information that a resident has the virus, the CDC advises that they should work with their local health department to notify others in the building who who may have had close contact with the individual while maintaining confidentiality as required by federal law.

Over the upcoming weeks as more information is gathered, if a significant number of other owners/landlords in your geographic region are notifying tenants as a matter of course or more guidelines are published, then you may want to do so as well to avoid any claims that an emerging standard of care was not met.

At this time, the information that we have on the virus and how to avoid infection is constantly evolving. Keep abreast of new information from the CDC on the coronavirus and publicize the information to your employees and tenants.

Implement office policies and publicize the policies to your employees regarding the best ways to prevent both infection and spread of the disease.

If an employee expresses concern about their own health or safety, or that of their families, you should not require them to do any work that they believe puts their health in danger. It may be necessary to consult with your company attorney to address employment issues related to required labor and access to tenants’ space under these circumstances.

Protect Your Investment

Download, customize and share this guide to help your at-risk homeowners struggling to meet loan obligations.

The brochure provides payment options to discuss with lenders, tips for avoiding scams, and encourages working with trusted professionals like REALTORS® and HUD-approved agencies.

Chicago City Council to Consider New “Tenant Protections” Measure

On June 17th, an ordinance was introduced in Chicago's City Council regarding "just cause" evictions.  This proposal would make it very difficult to evict a tenant for any reason other than non-payment of rent.  In addition, it would require advance notices on rent increases and it would require tenant relocation [...]

FHFA Announces that Enterprises will Purchase Qualified Loans in Forbearance to Keep Lending Flowing

​Washington, D.C. – To support homeowners and mortgage lenders, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is approving the purchase of certain single-family mortgages in forbearance that meet specific eligibility criteria by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises). “We are focused on keeping the mortgage market working for current and future homeowners [...]

Property ownership resources

How’s the housing market doing?

Illinois REALTORS® issues monthly housing market statistics reflecting median price and number of homes sold by Illinois, Chicagoland PMSA and county data.

Illinois REALTORS® issues monthly housing market statistics reflecting median price and number of homes sold by Illinois, Chicagoland PMSA and county data.

LEARN MORE

Have a real estate dispute?

Illinois REALTORS®, can help! The association can answer basic questions and work to resolve transaction issues involving it’s members through the Ombudsman program.

Illinois REALTORS®, can help! The association can answer basic questions and work to resolve transaction issues involving it’s members through the Ombudsman program.

LEARN MORE

Property ownership resources

How’s the housing market doing?

Illinois REALTORS® issues monthly housing market statistics reflecting median price and number of homes sold by Illinois, Chicagoland PMSA and county data.

Illinois REALTORS® issues monthly housing market statistics reflecting median price and number of homes sold by Illinois, Chicagoland PMSA and county data.

LEARN MORE

Have a real estate dispute?

Illinois REALTORS®, can help! The association can answer basic questions and work to resolve transaction issues involving it’s members through the Ombudsman program.

Illinois REALTORS®, can help! The association can answer basic questions and work to resolve transaction issues involving it’s members through the Ombudsman program.

LEARN MORE

HouseLogic.com is a site for homeowners who want smart solutions to enjoy, improve, and maintain their home; for buyers ready to find their happy place; and for sellers ready for their next chapter.

HouseLogic.com is a site for homeowners who want smart solutions to enjoy, improve, and maintain their home; for buyers ready to find their happy place; and for sellers ready for their next chapter.
Improve
HouseLogic.com is a site for homeowners who want smart solutions to enjoy, improve, and maintain their home; for buyers ready to find their happy place; and for sellers ready for their next chapter.
Your Money
HouseLogic.com is a site for homeowners who want smart solutions to enjoy, improve, and maintain their home; for buyers ready to find their happy place; and for sellers ready for their next chapter.
Buy & Sell

HouseLogic.com is a site for homeowners who want smart solutions to enjoy, improve, and maintain their home; for buyers ready to find their happy place; and for sellers ready for their next chapter.

HouseLogic.com is a site for homeowners who want smart solutions to enjoy, improve, and maintain their home; for buyers ready to find their happy place; and for sellers ready for their next chapter.
Improve
HouseLogic.com is a site for homeowners who want smart solutions to enjoy, improve, and maintain their home; for buyers ready to find their happy place; and for sellers ready for their next chapter.
Your Money
HouseLogic.com is a site for homeowners who want smart solutions to enjoy, improve, and maintain their home; for buyers ready to find their happy place; and for sellers ready for their next chapter.
Buy & Sell

Get the latest updates from the National Association of REALTORS® about public policy issues that can affect private property ownership.

Mortgage Tools

Buying or selling property? You need a professional to help you and an Illinois REALTOR® who can guide you through the transaction.

Find a REALTOR®

Get the latest updates from the National Association of REALTORS® about public policy issues that can affect private property ownership.

Mortgage Tools

Buying or selling property? You need a professional to help you and an Illinois REALTOR® who can guide you through the transaction.

Find a REALTOR®