City of Chicago Bed Bug Ordinance Information

The City of Chicago recently announced a new bed bug ordinance due to the increasing rate of bed bug infestations in the city. For the 2nd year in a row, Chicago has been ranked #1 in bed bug infestations. To prevent the spread of these creepy bugs, the city has enacted bed bug protocols in all rental buildings, including apartments, motels, hotels, assisted living facilities, and more.

Here is a run down of all the information that you will need to know about the new ordinance:

Bed bug extermination needs to be performed by a licensed pest control expert. Landlords and/or maintenance staff cannot complete the bed bug treatments. They also are not allowed to provide materials to residents for self-treatments. After treatment by a Chicago bed bug exterminator, the landlord must keep all paper work and/or invoices on file. Once a pest control extermination expert has completed the treatment, ensure that any items that are thrown out are sealed and clearly marked with “bed bugs.”

Treatment Protocols
If a tenant reports a bed bug issue the landlord must contact a licensed pest control extermination service. If there is an infestation, the landlord is responsible for the treatment of the unit.

Aside from the unit with a bed bug issue, an inspection must be made of a block of units two deep around the problem unit (above, below, and each side if it is possible). If bed bugs are discovered during the block inspection, then that new unit becomes the center of another block of units. This remains until no other bed bugs are discovered.

Tenant’s Responsibilities
If tenants suspect or have discovered bed bugs, they are required to notify the landlord in writing. If there are any skin complications, tenants are to include that in writing, as well.

Additional tenant responsibilities:

  • Do not interfere with the inspections or treatment.
  • Grant access at all requested reasonable times.
  • Make any necessary preparations.
  • Properly dispose of items that cannot be properly treated.

Penalties
Fines: $300 – $1,000 per incident. Every single day not in compliance with the ordinance represents an “incident”. These fines pertain, in theory, to the landlord and also the tenant.

Learn more about bed bug information directly from the City of Chicago’s website.
For more information of bed bugs, read the bed bug fact sheet by the City of Chicago.
If you are a tenant, read the tenant bed bug checklist.
If you are a landlord, read the landlord bed bug checklist.

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