CHICAGO BED BUG ORDINANCE
The City of Chicago’s new “Bed Bug Ordinance” is effective as of December 23, 2013. As of
that date, all multi-unit residential buildings in the City of Chicago – including condominium and
cooperative buildings – are subject to fines of up to $2,000 per day for failure to comply with the
new law. The Ordinance requires condominium and cooperative boards to take the following
Within 10 days after a bed bug infestation is found or reasonably suspected, the Board
must provide pest control services, performed by a Pest Management Professional (as
defined in the Ordinance), until no evidence of bed bugs can be found. Treatment of a
bed bug infestation must include treatment of the affected unit as well as the unit above,
below and on either side of the affected unit.
The Board must maintain written records on-site for all pest control measures performed
by a Pest Management Professional, including all reports and receipts for such services,
for a period of three years.
The Ordinance also imposes an affirmative duty on residents of multi-unit residential buildings to
immediately notify the Board, in writing, of any known or reasonably suspected bed bug
infestation and to cooperate with the Board in treating and eradicating such infestation.
A portion of the Ordinance that pertains exclusively to condominium and cooperative buildings
takes effect on March 23, 2014. As of that date, all condominiums and cooperatives within the
City of Chicago are required to prepare and implement a “Pest Management Plan” for
inspection, detection and treatment of bed bugs. The City of Chicago announced that a sample
Pest Management Plan will be available on the City’s website in January of 2014.
However, bed bug issues do not end with development of a Pest Management Plan. Boards
need to make a policy decision as to whether the cost of treating beg bug infestations should be
treated as a common expense or charged back, in whole or in part, to the affected owners. If
treatment costs are going to be charged to owners, it is less likely that owners will report an
infestation, which may lead to the rapid spread of bed bugs to other units. On the other hand, if
a Board decides that bed bug treatments will be provided as a common expense, owners have
an incentive to promptly report beg bug problems. Regardless of who ultimately bears the cost,
it is significantly less expensive for everyone involved when bed bug problems are promptly
reported and properly eliminated before there is a chance for bed bugs to spread. Boards
should develop their pest management rules and policies with that goal in mind.
Board members are urged to consult legal counsel well in advance of the March 24, 2013