New Illinois law protects property owners

From the Rockford Apartment Association

They say “you can’t fight city hall,” but maybe it would be more accurate to say “you can’t afford to fight city hall.” That, however, might no longer be true.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) just signed Public Act 098-1105, which allows a residential property owner who has been improperly fined by a city and challenges the fine in circuit court to recover their expenses for the challenge if they prove the fine was improperly imposed.

The bill was an initiative of The Illinois Rental Property Owners Association, an organization to which Rockford Apartment Association (RAA) belongs.

Prior to this law, a challenge to a municipal fine would have been made at the expense of the property owner. Often, the cost to fight the fine exceeded the fine itself, and so property owners chose to pay the fine rather than fight the false charge. Now, the deck is no longer stacked against property owners.

RAA expects this to result in cities paying closer attention to ensure that penalties imposed on property owners are fair and proper.

To read the full text of Public Act 098-1105, go to

Contact RAA President Paul Arena by phone at (815) 243-2924 or e-mail at for additional information about this issue.

From the Sept. 3-9, 2014, issue

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