Research Sources: A History of Renters’ Rights in Chicago

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Sources are in order of publication date, if known. Undated articles and encyclopedia articles are at the end of each section. Links were all active as of April 2016, but may go dead at anytime. Newspaper and law journal articles may be found in most cases by searching their title in your search engine of choice.

Asterisk (*) indicates Chicago Public Library account is required to view the link.

Part 1: 1881-1963

  • “New Joan of Arc Leads Rent Strike”, New York Times, December 27, 1907.
  • Standard Form, Chicago Restrictive Covenant, 1927 Link
  • A History of Equal Housing in the Northern Suburbs,” Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs and Shorefront, January 2008. Link
  • Whet Moser, “The Early History of Segregation in Chicago,” Chicago Magazine, July 3 2012.
  • Jenna Weissman Joselit, Joseph A. Spencer et al, “The Tenant Movement in New York City, 1904-1984” Link

Part 2: 1964-1972

  • Land Owners to March on City Hall Today: 5000 to Protest Open Housing Ordinance”, Chicago Tribune, Sept 11, 1963.
  • James M. Gavin, “Home Owners Seek Open Housing Vote,” Chicago Tribune, Feb 11, 1964.
  • Arthur Jackman, “Dr. King's Flat, Altho Painted, is Very Dismal,” Chicago Tribune, Jan 26, 1966.
  • Bruce E. Titus, Retalliatory Evictions: A Study of Existing Law and Proposed Model Code, 11 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 537 (1969).
  • James W. McElhaney, Retalatory Evictions: Landlords, Tenants and Law Reform, 29 Md. L. Rev. 193 1969.
  • Some are More Equal Than Others,” CBS News Reports, 1971
  • Davison, Steven G. (1976) "The Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act and Its Potential Effects upon Maryland Landlord-Tenant Law," University of Baltimore Law Review: Vol. 5: Iss. 2, Article 5.
  • Timothy P. Terrell, Edited Transcript of Proceedings of the Liberty Fund Inc Seminar on the Common Law History of Landlord-Tenant Law, 69 Cornell L. Rev. 623, 1984.
  • Edward Rabin, “The Revolution in Residential Landlord-Tenant Law, Causes and Consequences,” Cornell Law Review, March 1984.
  • Richard Chused, “Saunders (a.k.a. Javins) v. First National Realty Corporation 10th Anniversary Symposium Issue: Empowering the Poor and Disenfranchised: Making a Difference through Community, Advocacy, and Policy”, Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy Volume XI, No 2, Spring 2004.
  • Todd Kendall, “Martin Luther King, Jr's Apartment,” The Chicago Crime Scenes Project, November 27, 2009. Link
  • Julie M. Bordo and Daniel E. Fajerstein, Residential Real Estate Chapter 22, “Leases”, Iicle Press, 2011.
  • Mary Lou Finley, Bernard LaFayette, Jr., James Ralph and Pam Smith, The Chicago Freedom Movement, University Press of Kentucky, 2016.
  • Chicago Freedom Movement, Wikipedia. Link
  • Chicago Housing Authority, Wikipedia. Link
  • Javins v. First National Realty Corp., Wikipedia. Link
  • Javins Project: Court Papers and Pictures, Georgetown Law Library. Link
  • Landlord-Tenant Law, Cornell University Law School. Link
  • Open Housing,” Encyclopedia of Chicago. Link
  • War on Poverty, Wikipedia. Link
  • Debra Shore, “The Houses That Gautreaux Built,” The University of Chicago Magazine, Feb 1995.
  • The Contract Buyers' League (blog) Link

Part 3: 1972-1981

  • Council Urges Chicago Form Distinct State”, Chicago Tribune, Jun 25, 1925.
  • The Inquiring Reporter,” Chicago Daily Tribune, Jun 29 1925.
  • John Elmer, “Bar Rent Strike in Illinois”, Chicago Tribune, Nov 19 1970.
  • Robert Enstad, “The Controversy Over Chicago's Public Housing,” Chicago Tribune, Mar 14 1971.
  • Alvin Nagelberg, “Propose New Tenant Protections: Legislature Ponders Bar Association Bill,” Chicago Tribune, May 16 1971.
  • John Maclean, “A Law to Help Victims of the 'Punch Card Jungle',” Chicago Tribune, May 23 1971.
  • John Elmer, “Court Says Apartment Must Be Habitable When Rented,” Chicago Tribune, Jan 29 1972.
  • James E. Hussey, “Landlord-Tenant - The Breach of an Implied Warranty of Habitability in the Lease of a Multiple Unit Residence Is a Defense to a Forcible Entry and Detainer Action,” 3 Loy. U. Chi. L. J. 386 (1972).
  • Donald Yabush, “Legal Aid Unit to Help Poor,” Chicago Tribune, Jun 25 1972.
  • Alvin Nagelberg, “Land lord--Tenant Rules Proposed: Tenant May Get Right to Repair, Deduct Rent,” Chicago Tribune, Dec 10 1972.
  • John McCarron, “Critics renew attack on those one-sided leases: Earlier efforts to improve the legal standing of tenants have failed, but a new bill is now under study by the Illinois House”, Chicago Tribune, Oct 7 1973.
  • Paul Gapp, “Radical, risky change: City lets home rule plan on slum housing gather dust”, Chicago Tribune, Dec 6 1973.
  • Chuck Neubauer, “Aid reform blunts weapon in housing fight,” Chicago Tribune, Oct 13 1974.
  • Elizabeth Brenner, “Outraged cry of tenant heard in land,” Chicago Tribune, Oct 1 1978.
  • Joan Zyda, “Evanston will act on condos,” Chicago Tribune, Nov 15 1979.
  • Vicki Quade, “Tenants of Chicago, Unite: Michael Pensack is ready to lead you,” Chicago Reader, March 31 1988.
  • Board of Directors, Tenants Organization of Evanston and Tenants Organization of Illinois, “Tenants of Illinois, Divide!,” Chicago Reader, June 30 1988.
  • Marcy Mason, “Read 'em Your Rights: How can Renters Best Protect Themselves? By Knowing The Law,” Chicago Tribune, May 25 1990.
  • Roger Kerson, “Michael Pensack Against the World,” Chicago Reader, October 10 1991.
  • Richard H. Chused, “The Roots of Jack Spring v. Little,” 40 J. Marshall L. Rev. 395 (2007)
  • Lloyd T. Wilson Jr., The Beloved Community: The Influence and Legacy of Personalism in the Quest for Housing and Tenants' Rights, 40 J. Marshall L. Rev. 513 (2007)
  • Chicago Association of Realtors, History of Chicago Association of REALTORS ®” Link
  • National Association of Realtors,” Wikipedia Link
  • National Association of Realtors, “The History of NAR” Link

Part 4: 1982-1986

  • Connie Lauerman, “Tenants unions rewriting some clauses in lease,” Chicago Tribune, June 14 1973.
  • Marshall Patner, “Renters Beware: Landlord's new lease on your life,” Chicago Tribune, Sept 26 1975.
  • Edward F. Novak, Retaliatory Eviction: The Unsolved Problem - Clore v. Fredman, 25 DePaul L. Rev. 522 (1976)
  • Jack Houston, “Security deposits go statewide,” Chicago Tribune, Oct 30 1977.
  • Milton Rockmore, “What are some ways that tenants can protect their rights,” Chicago Tribune, Apr 1 1978.
  • Katheryn M. Dutenhaver, “Non-Waiver of the Implied Warranty of Habitability in Residential Leases,” Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, Fall 1978.
  • William L. Niro, “Landlord-Tenant Law: Challenging the Confession of Judgment Clause in Illinois Residential Leases,” Depaul Law Review, Spring 1979.
  • Elizabeth Brenner, “It's getting hard to find apartment-finders: Licensing weeds out fly-by-nighters” Chicago Tribune, Jun 3 1979
  • Rogers Park Tenants Committee, “49th Ward Alderman to explain his fair rent ordinance,” Agenda of the June 24, 1979 meeting. Link
  • Bonita Brodt, “Chicago renter: Between rock, hard spot,” Chicago Tribune, Oct 18 1979.
  • Bonita Brodt, “Landlord sues to evict activist tenant couple,” Chicago Tribune, Oct 18 1979.
  • Robert D. Mercer-Falkoff, “The Uniform Residential Landlord And Tenant Act: The Impact Of Existing State Laws,” Notre Dame Journal of Legislation, Jan 1 1980.
  • Bonita Brodt, “Complaints spark claim of retaliatory eviction,” Chicago Tribune, Aug 14 1980.
  • Bonita Brodt, “Tenants fighting landlords – it can be a costly battle: Their rent strike fails but leader isn't sorry,” Chicago Tribune, Aug 14 1980.
  • Stevenson Swanson, “Tenants vow renewed fight for rights,” Chicago Tribune, Jan 1, 1981.
  • “Topics; Live and Learn; The Tenant,” New York Times, March 27 1981.
  • Stevenson Swanson, “Tenants stop agonizing and start organizing,” Chicago Tribune, May 14 1981.
  • Stevenson Swanson, “Rogers Park couple prove it: Retaliatory eviction law means what it says, Couple win fight against eviction,” Chicago Tribune, July 23 1981.
  • Manuel Galvan, “New group to represent tenant rights,” Chicago Tribune, Nov 15 1981.
  • Harry Golden, Jr., “8 aldermen push tenant rights law,” Chicago Sun-Times, April 11 1984.
  • Susan Saiter, “Group's study backs tenant rights,” Chicago Sun-Times, July 27 1984.
  • Bruce R. Dold, “Rights laws give tenants a new lease on renting: City/suburbs Tenants,” Chicago Tribune, Aug 19 1984.
  • Harry Golden, Jr., “Tenant-rights bill softened,” Chicago Sun-Times, Sept 10, 1984.
  • Michele Stevens, “Proposals irk real estate agents,” Chicago Sun-Times, Sept 28, 1984.
  • James Strong, “Realty 'clout' blamed for tenant-rights delay,” Chicago Tribune, May 2 1985.
  • INC. hears,” Chicago Tribune, May 14 1986.
  • Rob Karwath, “Realtors offer renters bill: Competing measure would go easier on landlords,” Chicago Tribune, Aug 18 1986.
  • Harry Golden, Jr., “Tenants rights bill passes committee,” Chicago Sun-Times, August 28, 1986.
  • William B. Crawford, Jr. and Manuel Galvan, “Tenant bill upheld for time being,” Chicago Tribune, May 16 1987.
  • David Moberg, “The Fuel of a New Machine,” Chicago Reader, March 30 1989.
  • Eric Pace, “James Parsons, 81, A Black Trailblazer As a Federal Judge,” New York Times Obituary, June 21 1993.
  • Jeff Lyon, “Council Wars: The Battle for City Hall,” Chicago Tribune, Oct 31, 1993.
  • Ben Joravsky, “What did you do in the Council Wars, daddy?,” Chicago Reader, Oct 29 1998.
  • Sandy Goldman, “Civil War in Rogers Park,” And That's My Opinion, August 1999. Link
  • Michael A. Brower, “The 'Backlash' of the Implied Warranty of Habitability: Theory vs. Analysis,” Depaul Law Review, Spring 2011.
  • Barbara Brotman, “Honor for Rogers Park beach activist in works,” Chicago Tribune, Nov 29 2013.
  • Blackside, Inc., Transcript of interview with Marion Stamps for Washington University Libraries, Film and Media Archive, Henry Hampton Collection. Link
  • Jane Byrne, Wikipedia Link
  • Harold Washington, Wikipedia Link
  • David Orr, Wikipedia Link

Part 5: 1986-2016

  • US Census Bureau, “Census of Population and Housing, 1970” Link
  • Elizabeth Brenner, “A Chicagoan proposes a tenants' Bill of Rights,” Chicago Tribune, Oct 1 1978.
  • Richard Magnone, “Bad apple spoils the bunch as godfather of CRLTO cases pleads guilty to fraud charges,”, Apr 11 2012.
  • Steve Miller, “10 Years Later, Porch Collapse Survivor Says 'I Cringe When I Think About This',” CBS Chicago, June 14 2013
  • Landlord Sued in South Side Blaze That Killed 4 Children”, CBS Chicago, Sept 10 2014
  • Abby Gallun, “A Landlord Tenant Dispute That Brought Down the Roof”, Crain's Chicago Business, December 6 2014.
  • Mary Ellen Podmolik, “City Lists 'problem landlords' on website,” Chicago Tribune, Jan 27 2015.
  • 2003 Chicago Balcony Collapse, Wikipedia Link
  • US Census Bureau, “Census of Population and Housing, 2010.” Link
  • City of Chicago, Office of the City Clerk, Journal of the Proceedings for the following dates when the CRLTO was amended. Link
    • Sept 12 1986, p 33919
    • Nov 6 1991, p 7196
    • May 14 1997, p 45166
    • Sept 4 2003, p 7118
    • Oct 1 2003, p 9163
    • Mar 31 2004, p 20916
    • May 14 2008, p 26210
    • Jun 11 2008, p 29114
    • Oct 8 2008, p 39857
    • Nov 19 2008, p 47220
    • May 12 2010, p 91084
    • Jul 28 2010, p 97304
    • Nov 17 2010, p 106597
    • Jun 5 2013, p 55787
    • Nov 26 2013, p 67481

Case Law

No case files or numbers are available online for the case of Creighton Leiter v. Grace and Byron Watkins, but several Chicago Tribune articles attest to its existence.


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