Illinois General Assembly

Previous General Assemblies

Public Act 094-1038


 

Public Act 1038 94TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY



 


 
Public Act 094-1038
 
HB4715 Enrolled LRB094 15382 AJO 50573 b

    AN ACT concerning housing.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Safe
Homes Act.
 
    Section 5. Purpose. The purpose of this Act is to promote
the State's interest in reducing domestic violence, dating
violence, sexual assault, and stalking by enabling victims of
domestic or sexual violence and their families to flee existing
dangerous housing in order to leave violent or abusive
situations, achieve safety, and minimize the physical and
emotional injuries from domestic or sexual violence, and to
reduce the devastating economic consequences thereof.
 
    Section 10. Definitions. For purposes of this Act:
    "Domestic violence" means "abuse" as defined in Section 103
of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 by a "family or
household member" as defined in Section 103 of the Illinois
Domestic Violence Act of 1986.
    "Landlord" means the owner of a building or the owner's
agent with regard to matters concerning landlord's leasing of a
dwelling.
    "Sexual violence" means any act of sexual assault, sexual
abuse, or stalking of an adult or minor child, including but
not limited to non-consensual sexual conduct or non-consensual
sexual penetration as defined in the Civil No Contact Order Act
and the offenses of stalking, aggravated stalking, criminal
sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory
criminal sexual assault of a child, criminal sexual abuse, and
aggravated criminal sexual abuse as those offenses are
described in the Criminal Code of 1961.
    "Tenant" means a person who has entered into an oral or
written lease with a landlord whereby the person is the lessee
under the lease.
 
    Section 15. Affirmative defense.
    (a) In any action brought by a landlord against a tenant to
recover rent for breach of lease, a tenant shall have an
affirmative defense and not be liable for rent for the period
after which a tenant vacates the premises owned by the
landlord, if by preponderance of the evidence, the court finds
that:
        (1) at the time that the tenant vacated the premises,
    the tenant or a member of tenant's household was under a
    credible imminent threat of domestic or sexual violence at
    the premises; and
        (2) the tenant gave written notice to the landlord
    prior to or within 3 days of vacating the premises that the
    reason for vacating the premises was because of a credible
    imminent threat of domestic or sexual violence against the
    tenant or a member of the tenant's household.
    (b) In any action brought by a landlord against a tenant to
recover rent for breach of lease, a tenant shall have an
affirmative defense and not be liable for rent for the period
after which the tenant vacates the premises owned by the
landlord, if by preponderance of the evidence, the court finds
that:
        (1) a tenant or a member of tenant's household was a
    victim of sexual violence on the premises that is owned or
    controlled by a landlord and the tenant has vacated the
    premises as a result of the sexual violence; and
        (2) the tenant gave written notice to the landlord
    prior to or within 3 days of vacating the premises that the
    reason for vacating the premises was because of the sexual
    violence against the tenant or member of the tenant's
    household, the date of the sexual violence, and that the
    tenant provided at least one form of the following types of
    evidence to the landlord supporting the claim of the sexual
    violence: medical, court or police evidence of sexual
    violence; or statement from an employee of a victim
    services or rape crisis organization from which the tenant
    or a member of the tenant's household sought services; and
        (3) the sexual violence occurred not more than 60 days
    prior to the date of giving the written notice to the
    landlord, or if the circumstances are such that the tenant
    cannot reasonably give notice because of reasons related to
    the sexual violence, such as hospitalization or seeking
    assistance for shelter or counseling, then as soon
    thereafter as practicable. Nothing in this subsection (b)
    shall be construed to be a defense against an action in
    forcible entry and detainer for failure to pay rent before
    the tenant provided notice and vacated the premises.
    (c) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to be a defense
against an action for rent for a period of time before the
tenant vacated the landlord's premises and gave notice to the
landlord as required in subsection (b).
 
    Section 20. Change of locks.
    (a) Upon written notice from all tenants who have signed as
lessees under a written lease, the tenants may request that a
landlord change the locks of the dwelling unit in which they
live if one or more of the tenants reasonably believes that one
of the tenants or a member of tenant's household is under a
credible imminent threat of domestic or sexual violence at the
premises from a person who is not a lessee under the lease.
Notice to the landlord requesting a change of locks shall be
accompanied by at least one form of the following types of
evidence to support a claim of domestic or sexual violence:
medical, court or police evidence of domestic or sexual
violence; or a statement from an employee of a victim services,
domestic violence, or rape crisis organization from which the
tenant or a member of the tenant's household sought services.
    (b) Once a landlord has received notice of a request for
change of locks and has received one form of evidence referred
to in Section (a) above, the landlord shall, within 48 hours,
change the locks or give the tenant the permission to change
the locks.
        (1) The landlord may charge a fee for the expense of
    changing the locks. That fee must not exceed the reasonable
    price customarily charged for changing a lock.
        (2) If a landlord fails to change the locks within 48
    hours after being provided with the notice and evidence
    referred to in (a) above, the tenant may change the locks
    without the landlord's permission. If the tenant changes
    the locks, the tenant shall give a key to the new locks to
    the landlord within 48 hours of the locks being changed. In
    the case where a tenant changes the locks without the
    landlord's permission, the tenant shall do so in a
    workmanlike manner with locks of similar or better quality
    than the original lock.
    (c) The landlord who changes locks or allows the change of
locks under this Act shall not be liable to any third party for
damages resulting from a person being unable to access the
dwelling.
 
    Section 25. Penalty for violation.
    (a) If a landlord takes action to prevent the tenant who
has complied with Section 20 of this Act from changing his or
her locks, the tenant may seek a temporary restraining order,
preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction ordering the
landlord to refrain from preventing the tenant from changing
the locks. A tenant who successfully brings an action pursuant
to this Section may be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and
costs.
    (b) A tenant who changes locks and does not provide a copy
of a key to the landlord within 48 hours of the tenant changing
the locks, shall be liable for any damages to the dwelling or
the building in which the dwelling is located that could have
been prevented had landlord been able to access the dwelling
unit in the event of an emergency.
    (c) The remedies provided to landlord and tenant under this
Section 25 shall be sole and exclusive.
 
    Section 30. Prohibition of waiver or modification. The
provisions of this Act may not be waived or modified in any
lease or separate agreement.
 
    Section 35. Public housing excluded. This Act does not
apply to public housing, assisted under the United States
Housing Act of 1937, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1437 et seq., and
its implementing regulations, with the exception of the
tenant-based Housing Choice Voucher program. Public housing
includes dwelling units in mixed-finance projects that are
assisted through a public housing authority's capital,
operating, or other funds.

Effective Date: 1/1/2007