Chicago Realtors Must know the Chicago Fair Housing Ordinance

chicago fair housing ordinance

Penalties include large monetary fines and mandatory reporting to IDFPR

The City of Chicago has a well-known, robust set of housing laws to protect various members of society from discrimination, one such law is the Chicago Fair Housing Ordinance. Realtors and brokers in Chicago who are found to have violated the Fair Housing Ordinance will be reported to the IDFPR.

Realtors and brokers in Chicago are subject to many rules and regulations. Whether its federal, state, county or municipal laws.

What is the Chicago Fair Housing Ordinance?

The Ordinance can be found in Chapter 5-8 of the Municipal Code of Chicago. The ordinance bans discrimination in housing. Any person who sells, rents, or leases housing in the City of Chicago must not refuse or withhold housing from anyone based on their race, color, sex, gender identity, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military status, or source of income. MCC § 5-8-020

This ban on discrimination extends to any agent or real estate broker licensed in Illinois who assists the landlord or property owner in renting or selling property. This extends to any communication or advertisement made by the realtor or agent to a prospective renter or buyer. MCC § 5-8-030(A).


What happens if a realtor or broker is found to have violated the ordinance?

The Fair Housing Ordinance requires City attorneys to report a violation of this ordinance to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Specifically, MCC § 5-8-140 states that “the corporation counsel shall file with the Department of Professional Regulation of the State of Illinois a notice of the conviction of any licensed real estate broker or salesperson found guilty of violating this chapter.”

Once IDFPR receives the report, its can conduct an investigation into the findings that could include fines, suspension, or revocation based on the severity of the actions. These actions are in addition to whatever actions the City of Chicago takes.

If you’re a realtor or licensed broker who has received a complaint mentioning the Chicago Fair Housing ordinance, timing is critical, so contact 1818 immediately. We will work with you to evaluate the facts and guide you through the City of Chicago Hearing Process as well as any IDFPR investigation or complaint.


Jordan Matyas

Jordan Matyas

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Jordan Matyas is a lawyer, lobbyist, and Founder of 1818 Legal, an Illinois professional licensing defense law firm he created in 2014. With more than 18 years of experience practicing law, he represents clients in a wide range of legal matters, including professional license defense, administrative law, land use and zoning, and state, local, and municipal law.

Jordan received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois — Chicago School of Law and is a member of the Illinois Bar Association.