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Chicago Board of Realtors v. City of Chicago

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
819 F.2d 732 (1987)


Facts

The City of Chicago (defendant) passed a law codifying the implied warranty of habitability and creating additional rights for the tenant and responsibilities for the landlord. The law requires that landlords keep security deposits in Illinois banks and pay interest to the tenant on those deposits. The ordinance also permits tenants to withhold rent for violations of the lease by the landlord and deduct the cost of small repairs from rent. The law prohibits landlords from charging more than $10 per month for late rent, no matter how much the tenant owes. The law creates a rebuttable presumption that any attempt by a landlord to evict a tenant who has exercised her rights under the law is retaliatory. A group of property owners (plaintiffs) sued in federal district court, arguing that the ordinance was unconstitutional. The plaintiffs asked for a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of the law during the pendency of the suit. The district court denied the injunction, holding that the property owners did not have a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits. The plaintiffs appealed the denial to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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