Summary: The Immigrant Tenant Protection Act prohibits a landlord from disclosing or threatening to disclose, or attempting eviction, based on a tenant’s immigration status.
Based on IL SB 1290
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This Act shall be called the “Immigrant Tenant Protection Act.”
SECTION 2. PURPOSE
This law is enacted to protect residents from threats and harassment based on immigration status, which is not relevant to landlord-tenant relations.
SECTION 3. PROHIBITION
After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:
(A) DEFINITIONS—In this section:
(1) “Dwelling unit” means a room or suite of rooms, a manufactured home rental unit or lot as defined in [the Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Rights Act], or other residential real estate used for human habitation, and for which a landlord and a tenant have a written or oral lease agreement.
(2) “Immigration or citizenship status” includes a person’s actual or perceived immigration status or citizenship status.
(3) “Landlord” means the owner, agent, lessor, or sublessor, or the successor in interest of any of them, of a dwelling unit, or the building of which it is part, and any person authorized to exercise any aspect of the management of the premises, including any person who directly or indirectly receives rents and has no obligation to deliver the whole of the receipts to another person. “Landlord” includes the owner of a mobile home park.
(4) “Tenant” means a person entitled by written or oral agreement, subtenancy approved by the landlord or by sufferance, or law to occupy a dwelling unit to the exclusion of others.
(1) A landlord shall not threaten to disclose or actually disclose information regarding or relating to the immigration or citizenship status of a tenant to any person, entity, or any immigration or law enforcement agency with the intent of harassing or intimidating the tenant, retaliating against the tenant for exercising his or her rights, or influencing the tenant to surrender possession, or bring an action to recover possession of a dwelling unit based solely or in part on the immigration or citizenship status of a tenant.
(2) Any waiver of a right under this section by a tenant is void as a matter of public policy.
(3) This section does not:
(a) prohibit a landlord from complying with any legal obligation under federal, State, or local law, including, but not limited to, any legal obligation under any government program that provides for rent limitations or rental assistance to a qualified tenant or a subpoena, warrant, or other court order;
(b) prohibit a landlord from requesting information or documentation necessary to determine or verify the financial qualifications of a prospective tenant;
(c) prohibit a landlord from delivering to the tenant an oral or written notice regarding conduct by the tenant that violates, may violate, or has violated an applicable rental agreement, including the lease or any rule, regulation, or law;
(d) enlarge or diminish a landlord’s right to terminate a tenancy pursuant to existing State or local law; or
(e) enlarge or diminish the ability of a unit of local government to regulate or enforce a prohibition against a landlord’s harassment of a tenant.
(1) If a landlord engages in prohibited conduct described in this section, the [Housing Department] may, after due process, issue a fine not to exceed $2,000 for each violation, or bring a civil action to seek any one or more of the following remedies: (a) actual damages, as reasonably determined by the court, for injury or loss suffered; or (b) a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $2,000 for each violation, payable to the tenant; (c) reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs; and (d) other equitable relief as the court may deem appropriate and just.
(2) If a landlord engages in prohibited conduct described in this section, the tenant may bring a civil action to seek any one or more of the following remedies: (a) actual damages, as reasonably determined by the court, for injury or loss suffered; or (b) a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $2,000 for each violation, payable to the tenant; (c) reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs; and (d) other equitable relief as the court may deem appropriate and just.
(3) The immigration or citizenship status of any person is irrelevant to any issue of liability or remedy in a civil action involving a tenant’s housing rights, and in proceedings or discovery undertaken in a civil action involving a tenant’s housing rights, no inquiry shall be permitted into the tenant’s immigration or citizenship status unless the person seeking to make the inquiry demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that the inquiry is necessary in order to comply with federal law.
SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE
This law shall become effective on July 1, 20XX.