Bed Bug Complaints Surge

Bed bug complaints on the Metropolitan Tenants Organization Hotline have gone from none to at least 200 calls a year. WBBM’s John Cody reports.

If you have bed bugs in the Chicagoland area, call the Chicago tenants rights hotline at 773.292.4988. Open M-F from 1-5pm.
Stay tuned for an updated online FAQ on Bed Bugs and what do about them.

Action Alert: Protest Downtown at Chase Bank this Thursday

This weekend, the residents of 7263 S Coles face homelessness. JP Morgan Chase has failed in its responsibility for maintaining this 30-unit property since 2008. For two years, Chase has allowed the building to deteriorate to such a degree that the city of Chicago, due to safety concerns, stepped in and ordered residents to vacate the property this coming Saturday, July 17th. These families will be put out on the street and to date, Chase has refused to assist these families with relocation despite their neglect of the general building maintenance being the very cause of this building being condemned by Chicago building inspectors.

Join MTO, tenants, and concerned community members this Thursday, July 15th at 11:30am at Chase Tower, 10 S. Dearborn in Downtown Chicago.

Rental properties across the city are deteriorating because the banks responsible have done nothing. For residents, the choice is especially stark – live in substandard conditions or leave the homes they once cherished. This crisis has been developing for years and is getting out of control. Banks have done little or nothing to save our homes and have allowed our communities to weaken.

WE WANT:

  • Banks to be responsible for maintaining buildings in foreclosure
  • Relocation assistance for the families being displaced by banks that ignore their obligations
  • A foreclosure stabilization plan that would promote building maintenance and preservation, thus preventing displacement and abandoned buildings.

Testify about Your Experience as a HUD Subsidized Renter

Wednesday, June 30th will be your chance to voice your concerns to Mr. Ed Hinsberger, Chicago Multifamily HUD Director, and Mr. George Gilmore, HUD Neighborhood Coordinator.

HUD Subsidized Renters are invited to attend a HUD Townhall Meeting. This meeting is for property-based Section 8 Chicago HUD Subsidized tenants only.

When: Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
Time:   1:00pm till 3:00pm
Where: Access Living
115 W Chicago Ave

The Metropolitan Tenants Organization along with Access Living are providing tenants of subsidized housing a platform to address their concerns regarding maintenance and management of HUD subsidized buildings.

For more information please contact:

Metropolitan Tenants Organization
Farid Muhammad
773.292.4980 x 236
faridm@tenants-rights.org

or

Access Living
Deidre Brewster
312.640.2100 x 132

Renters Win Round 1

Round 2 is on Monday, May 24th.

Tenants and activists gathered in the second floor lobby of City Hall Tuesday April 27th before the Building Committee meeting to express their support of Mayor Daley’s amendment to hold banks accountable for tenants’ security deposit in the case of foreclosure. Among them was Peter Mclennon, representing Cook County Clerk David Orr (the Residential Landlord and Tenants Ordinance sponsor in 1986). He urged rejection of the Chicagoland Apartment Association’s amendment being put forth by Alderman Stone. According to Charlotte Starks, a tenant and hotline counselor, “Security deposits being kept by landlords is as prevalent as domestic abuse, in that it does not have a face, does not have a color, it doesn’t have an address. It’s done city-wide, in all of the wards.”

Following the press conference, participants went to room 201A to prepare to testify before the Buildings Committee. The presence was so large that the meeting was moved to the City Council Chambers to accommodate everyone.

Alderman Shiller started the hearing by proposing a subcommittee that would be able to address problems brought forth by landlords and tenants. Alderman Stone chose to hear all testimony from landlord and tenant groups. Approximately 30 people testified to the committee, including Joel Rivera, a tenant turned volunteer counselor for MTO’s Renter’s Rights Hotline, testified “By providing the LL with a 14 day notification prior to any lawsuits regarding the deposit, its basically contradicting a law that the landlord should already know. Upon signing a lease, the landlord is obligated to the RLTO to provide each tenant with a copy of the ordinance summary. So off the bat, the landlord should already be responsible for what his rights are towards the tenant.” John Bartlett, Executive Director of MTO, explained MTO’s desire to work with good landlords on their concerns with the law while simultaneously ensuring loopholes are not opened in the current law that would make it easier for bad landlords to take advantage of their tenant’s money.

Three hours later, after everyone had had their say, Alderman Latasha Thomas stated her support of forming a subcommittee to resolve the issues brought up by those that had testified. Alderman Hairston believed a happy medium could be found between landlords and tenants in a subcommittee. Deputy Commissioner Ellen Sahli explained Mayor Daley’s proposal, specifically that his proposal does not tip the delicate balance in the RLTO away from landlords – instead, it would only affect lien holders, such as banks and only in the case of a foreclosure. Deputy Commissioner Sahli stated her support of a subcommittee and her opposition to Alderman Stone’s amendment.

Chairman Stone explained that his intent with the amendment was to “correct the rigidity of the ordinance.” Alderman Shiller responded that she wanted to address this, but that the “14-day cure” changes economic incentives and changes consequences to landlords if they do not follow the security deposit law as written. Chairman Stone responded that he did not want to be a block on the Mayor’s ordinance. The Buildings Committee then voted unanimously to pass the Mayor’s ordinance onto the full council without any amendments attached. The two amendments will be considered in the new subcommittee headed by Alderman Shiller.

Alderman Shiller’s subcommittee is tentatively scheduled for Monday, May 24.  The committee will continue to look at the amendments proposed by Aldermen Stone and Shiller.  It is important for renters to continue to come attend hearings as we expect the Chicagoland Apartment Association to continue to press for a weakening of Chicago’s ordinance.  Tenants need to inform the alderman of problems they face with security deposits.  If you are interested in testifying at the next hearing please contact  Loreen Targos at 773-292-4980 x 231 or by email at loreen@tenants-rights.org.

Apartment Conditions and Repairs – FAQ

NOTE: If your landlord lives in your building, see the “Exceptions” note on the right side of this page.

What is my landlord responsible for?
Your landlord has a duty to keep your apartment in good shape and make all necessary repairs. If she fails to do this, you may be able to:

  • Make the repairs yourself and deduct their cost from your rent;
  • Withhold a portion of your rent;
  • Sue your landlord; or
  • Terminate your lease agreement. This pamphlet explains when and how you can do these things.

What must my landlord do to maintain the condition of my apartment?
Keep your toilet, bathtub, shower, and bathroom sink in good working order;

  • Keep your furnace and boiler in good working order;
  • Keep your windows weatherproof;
  • Keep your floors, walls and ceilings in good repair;
  • Keep your plumbing fixtures in good repair;
  • Keep your electrical outlets safe and operable;
  • Prevent the accumulation of stagnant water;
  • Keep all of the appliances he supplies in good working order;
  • Maintain the building is foundation, exterior walls, and roof in good and watertight condition;
  • Provide adequate hall and stairway lighting; Keep all stairways and porches in a safe and sound condition;
  • Provide trash containers;
  • Protect you against rodents and insects by exterminating; and
  • Comply with all other requirements of Chicago’s Municipal Code.

If my landlord doesn’t make necessary repairs, can I use my rent to pay for these repairs?

Yes, but only if the repair will not cost more than $500 or one-half of your rent (which ever is greater). Using your rent money to make necessary repairs is called “repairing and deducting.”

How do I “repair and deduct?”
First you must give your landlord a written notice stating that, unless she makes the necessary repairs within 14 days, you will make them yourself and deduct their cost from your rent. Keep a copy of the notice. If your landlord doesn’t make the necessary repairs within 14 days of receiving the notice, you can make the repairs or pay someone else to do it. After giving your landlord paid receipts to confirm the cost of repair, you can deduct this cost from your rent. See sample letter here.

What if I want to repair a problem in a common area, such as a stairway or hallway?
You must first give all of the other tenants written notice of your plan to make the repair.

If my landlord doesn’t make necessary repairs, can I withhold a portion of my rent?
Yes, but first give your landlord a written notice stating that, unless she makes the necessary repairs within 14 days, you will withhold a certain portion of your monthly rent payments. NOTE: You cannot withhold a portion of your rent and “repair and deduct” in the same month.

If I decide to withhold a portion of my rent, exactly how much should I withhold?
The amount you withhold must reasonably reflect the reduced value of your apartment. Be conservative. You cannot withhold all your rent unless your apartment is in such bad shape that you must move, and you can rarely withhold as much as 50%. If you withhold too much, your landlord may be able to evict you for nonpayment of rent. To be safe, consult with an attorney. See “rent reduction” sample letter here.

Can I terminate my lease because my landlord has failed to make necessary repairs?
Yes, but only in very serious cases. Consult with an attorney first.

How can I terminate my lease?
First, you must provide your landlord with written notice that you will terminate your lease in no less than 14 days unless he makes whatever repairs are necessary. If she does not correct the problem within 14 days of receiving this notice, you may terminate your lease agreement. If you terminate the lease, you must move within the next 30 days otherwise your lease will remain in effect. See sample letter here.

If my landlord doesn’t make necessary repairs, can I sue him/her?
Yes, but consult with an attorney first.

Can I make my landlord pay for the cost of repairing a problem I caused?
No.

What if my landlord fails to provide me with an essential service (such as heat, electricity, or running water)?
See the page entitled Heat & Other Essential Services.

Does my landlord have to repaint my apartment?
Not unless the paint is cracking or peeling.

Can I sue my landlord if my property is damaged in her apartment?
Only if the property was damaged as a result of your landlord’s negligence.

Please Note: This information, published by the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago and the Metropolitan Tenants Organization as a public service, gives you only a general idea of your rights and responsibilities under the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance and other relevant chapters of Chicago’s Municipal Code. It is meant to inform, but not to advise. Before enforcing your rights, you may want to seek the advice of an attorney who can analyze the facts of your case and apply the law to these facts.

Still can’t find the answer? Send us your questions. Please allow several days for a response.

Lawyers, Low-Income Housing & Other Resources

This is an informational resource list. None of the following organizations have affiliation with the Metropolitan Tenants Organization.

Legal Organization Referrals

Evictions (tenant must be low-income)

Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing …………..312-784-3527

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (serves Spanish speakers)………………..…312-332-1624

Chicago Legal Clinic (retaliatory eviction only) (serves Spanish speakers)………773-731-1762

Advice before court or to get an extension to stay:

CARPLS Advice Desk Room 602, Daley Center located at Station 7 – Pro se defendants only

Kent Law School Advice Desk Room 602, Daley Center – Pro se defendants only

Illinois Legal Aid Online Pro Se  www.IllinoisLegalAid.org  www.AyudaLegalIl.org

Tenants in CHA or HUD housing or on a Section 8 program

LAC (must fit under income guidelines)…312-341-1070

(unit conditions ONLY)……………….312-229-6093

Cabrini Green Legal Aid……..312-738-2452

Security Deposit Defense

Chicago Legal Clinic (deposit must be $2500 & over) ($30 1st visit & court)….773-731-1762

Cabrini Green Legal Clinic (income guideline & $20.00 fee)……….312 738 2452

Lawyers Committee for Better Housing……(312) 784-3527

Tenants over 60 years of age

Chicago Department on Aging………312-744-4016

Tenants with Disabilities And Seniors

Mayor’s Office for People with disability up to age 59 ……….312-744-6673

Legal Clinic for the Disabled and seniors (must receive referral from Chgo. Dept. Of Aging)……. 312-908-4463

Center for Disability and Elder Law (they also cover legal issues beyond Tenant/Landlord)………312 376 1880

Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4)…………………………………………………………………..773-769-0205

National Alliance on Mental Illness of Chicago HELPLINE………………………………………………….312-563-0445

Tenants living in Logan Square or surrounding neighborhoods:

Micah Legal Aid……… …….773 463-6768

Tenants living in or around Uptown area 60640

Uptown People’s Law Office (Eviction Defense Only) ………… ………773-769-1411

Suburbanites with questions

CARPLS (Cook County, serves Spanish speaking tenants too)…… …..312-738-9200

Open Communities (North & Northwest Cook County Suburbs)…847-501-5760

Prairie State Legal Services DeKalb & Kane………..630-232-9415

Du Page……… ..630-690-2130

Kane………….…630-232-9415

Lake & McHenry………847-662-6925

Will………………815-727-5123

Peoria…………….309-674-9831

MTO Lawyer Referral List

PRIVATE ATTORNEYS

Aldon Patt (security deposit) ……….312-641-0885

Brian Gilbert (eviction, security deposit, and consumer defense)….872-216-4615

David Morris (security deposit, affirmative RLTO, class actions, retaliation, lockouts, illegal entry, trespass, and utility theft if $3000 or more is owed to tenant) Chicago, Mt. Prospect, Oak Park and Evanston………………312-986-3200

Hall Adams (bed bugs, must demonstrate via paper trail that the bed bug issue has occurred)……………….. 312-445-4900

Joan Fenstermaker (security deposit, retaliation, foreclosure, illegal lockouts and illegal late fees)…….312-371-6473 or http://givemebackmydeposit.com/

John Norkus (security deposit, unit conditions, evictions, consumer)…312-600-7457

Joseph F. Vitu    ……….312-726-2323 (building conditions, personal injury)

Susan Ritacca …………… 872-222-6960

Philip J. DeVon…………… 773-217-8481 (security deposit, illegal lockouts, conditions)

Michael A. Childers (security deposit, other legal advice)………..312- 641-1900 (speak or leave message with Beverly Hadley)

Mike Radzilowsky (primarily evictions)   …………312-986-0600

Morgan Cook (tenant-landlord law, debt collection defense)…………………….312-880-7215 or www.legalmcfirm.com

Paul Bernstein (security deposit).…1-866-769-2892

William Moore (security deposits, affirmative RLTO) ……………….. 708-268-3495

Chicago Bar Association (for other Attorney referrals)…………….312-554-2001
(Free Legal Advice every 3rd Saturday of the month & no income guidelines.)

Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission………….…. (312) 565-2600

Government & Other Resources

Ameritech Reverse Directory (to find landlord address)…………411

CEDA (weatherization program for low income)……………800-571-2332

Center for Conflict Resolution (Mediation)……………312-922-6464

CHAC Fraud Hotline…………………………..800-533-0441

CHA………………………………312-935-2600

Chicago Dept. on Aging + (disabled & tenants over 60)…………312-744-4016

Chicago Department of Childhood Lead Poisoning….(312) 747-5323

Chicago Dept. of Community Development……………………………311 or 312.744.5000

Chicago Housing Authority (CHA Housing and Sec. 8)…………312-742-8500

CHA Hotline (for complaints about CHA management)……………………1-800-544-7139

Circuit Court Clerk’s Office (to find out if you’re being sued)…………312-603-5030

Citizen’s Utility Board (complaints about utility bill)…………..…800-669-5556

Condo Owners………. 312-987-1906

Cook County Recorder of Deeds (Sale of Property Info)………312-603-5050

Cook County Sheriff’s Eviction Unit…………….312-603-3365

Cook County States Attorney Consumer Fraud………..312-814-3000

Department of Consumer Services (sec. deposit & utility theft complaints) …312-744-4090

Department of Human Services (emergency shelter)………312-746-5400

Eviction Court…………………..312-603-6486
Or cookcountyclerkofcourt.org (full docket search)

For Building Inspections & Emergency Rental Assistance…………..311 or 312-744-5000

HOME (Seniors needing help moving) …………..(773) 921-1332

MTO Hotline* – Tenants Rights …. 773-292-4988 (M-F, 1-5pm)

HUD Complaints about Section 8 Counselor……………….312-353-6236

HUD…………………………..312-353-7776

IL Commerce Commission (regulates utility providers)…………800-524-0795

Independent Police Review Authority (to file complaint against police) ……………… 312-745-3609

Lakeside CDC (condo owners)……………………..773 381 5253

LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program)………..312-795-8800

Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly (social support for the elderly)…………312-455-1000

Pro Se Court, Rm 602, Daley Center (for claims up to $1500)……….312-603-5626

Rental Assistance & Utility Assistance………311 or 312.744.5000, ask for short term help

Shriver Center (victims of sexual & domestic assault)………….……..….312-263-3830

Small Claims Court (for claims between $1500 to $5000) .Civil Division…..312-603-5145

United States Postal Service……………………………….800-275-8777

Discrimination

Access Living (disability 226-1687TDD-hearing impaired)………312-640-2100

Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law………312-630-9744

Commission on Human Relations (all discrimination complaints)…312-744-4111

Illinois Department of Human Rights (Fair Housing Division)………………..312-814-6227

John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal clinic…………312-786-2267

Latinos United (referrals and trainings)………….312-226-0151

Foreclosure

newschicago.org or cookcountyassessor.com (to get PIN # of the property, then call recorder of deeds)

Recorder of Deeds……………………………………312-603-5050

(Give them PIN# to see if apt. has a case #, if it has a case number call Chancery Court 312-603-5133)

Neighborhood Housing Services (landlords facing foreclosure)…………….773-329-4010

Tenants in foreclosure (income guideline & costs)

Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (referral must be faxed).……312- 784-3507

(Statewide)……………………….855-207-8347

Low-Income Housing Resources:

www.ILHousingSearch.org

Bickerdike Apartments (low-income housing)…………………………………………773-227-6332
– Provides housing for low-income tenants.

Chicago Housing Authority…………………………………………………….. …….. (312) 742-8500
– The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a federal housing rental assistance program. It allows low-
income families to rent good housing in the private market. The voucher program pays a portion of their rent each month directly to the property owner or manager.

Cook County Housing Authority…………………………………………………………(312)542-4728
– Provides access to decent, safe, and affordable housing to low and moderate income individuals, families,
elderly and/or disabled within suburban Cook County.

Earthly Women Corp. ……………………………………………………………………..708 822 3786
– Serves women and single parents.

East Lake Management & Development Corp…………………………………..……..312.842.5500
– Offers affordable housing to tenants throughout the chicagoland area.

Habitat Corp……………………………………………………………………..…….….(312)527-5700
– Provides housing for low-income tenants.

Heartland Alliance……………………………………………………………………..….312- 660-1300
– They build and advocate for safe, high-quality housing and supportive services for people experiencing
homelessness, poverty, or chronic illness.

Hispanic Housing Development Corporation………………………………………… (312) 602-6500
– Provides housing for low-income families and the elderly.

Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly (H.O.M.E.)………….……. 773-921-3200
– Committed to improving the quality of life for Chicago’s low-income elderly, Housing Opportunities and
Maintenance for the Elderly (H.O.M.E.) helps seniors remain independent and part of their community by
offering opportunities for intergenerational living and by providing a variety of citywide support services.

Housing Opportunities for Women…………………………………………….………(773) 465-5770
– Their goal is to help homeless women and children exit the homeless shelter system as quickly as possible
by providing rental subsidies to secure permanent housing. They also offer employment services.

IL Housing Development Authority……………………………………………….…… (312)836-5200
– Help create and fund affordable housing programs across the state.

Mercy Housing Lakefront Office………………………………………………………….312.447.4500
– To create stable, vibrant and healthy communities by developing, financing and operating affordable,
program-enriched housing for families, seniors and people with special needs who lack the economic
resources to access quality, safe housing opportunities.

Landlords seeking assistance

Chicago Rents Right…….………………312-742-7369

Spanish Coalition for Housing…………773-276-7633

Community Investment Corporation……………312 258 0070

or via email (preferred): taft.west@cicchicago.com

Neighborhood Housing Services (landlords facing foreclosure)…………….773-329-4010

Resources for Homeowners:

Partners In Community Building, Inc…………….312.328.0873
– Financial Literacy, Credit Repair, Other services

Translation Services:

Chinese American Service League (Translation, Southside)…………………312-791-0418

Chinese Mutual Aid (Translation, North side)……………………………………773-784-2900

Polish American Association……………………………………………..773-282-8206

Resources for writing letters or other areas of support (citywide)

LIFT- Chicago Uptown Office…………………………773-303-0700

LIFT- Chicago Pilsen Office……………………………312-994-8387

Tenants Get Repairs and Fight Foreclosure

In August of 2008 tenants from a building in Englewood called MTO’s Tenants Rights Hotline complaining about egregious conditions including broken security locks, pest infestations, and lack of essential services, like heat.  MTO immediately sent organizers out to assess the situation.  The Ada-Throop buildings are subsidized by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In addition to confirming the deplorable conditions tenants reported, MTO organizers learned that the building was in foreclosure and that the building’s subsidy was at risk.

The Ada-Throop buildings, in many ways, represent the predicament that the foreclosure crisis has caused in many tenants’ lives.  The tenants in Ada-Throop lived in quickly deteriorating conditions because the owner was either unwilling or unable to attend to the upkeep of the building, let alone pay the mortgage.  Often unresolved repairs are the first sign of a landlord in foreclosure.  Because of unacceptable building conditions, there was fear HUD would eliminate the subsidy of the property, and thus everyone would have to move.

Foreclosures also put into question the person ‘in charge’ during the court process.  The courts, the banks, or the old owner often do not want to invest the needed resources in foreclosure buildings.

Fortunately, the tenants worked together with MTO to take back control over their living conditions.  The tenants association secured the assistance of the City of Chicago’s Troubled Building Initiative and a court appointed receiver took over management of the buildings.  Working with the court appointed management company, tenants continued to organize, heat was restored in the building and conditions were improved.

Thanks to the efforts of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization working in conjunction with the Shriver Center, the Community Investment Corporations (CIC) and HUD, these buildings and their affordable housing subsidizes were all preserved.  Today, there remain problems and obstacles to overcome in the building. But since the tenants have organized, conditions have improved and new owners will soon be ready to take over the buildings. These new owners are currently looking into securing loans to do rehabilitation work on these affordable subsidized buildings.

Summary Prepared by Robert Clack

Metropolitan Tenants Organization 25th Anniversary Celebration

Deborah Harrington: 2010 Movement Builder Awardee

25 years of raising renters’ voices & community preservation

Please join us to celebrate MTO’s 25th Anniversary!

On Tuesday, May 4th at the Chicago Cultural Center in G.A.R. Hall & Rotunda, from 5:30 to 8:30pm, MTO is hosting a reception. Join us for hors d’oeuvres, wine, jazz and to honor some of our community’s outstanding leaders! MTO will honor Deborah Harrington, former President of the Wood’s Fund of Chicago and Steven Whitman, Ph. D, Director of the Sinai Urban Health Institute. The key note speaker for the event will be Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez.

Mayor Richard M. Daley will serve as the Honorary Celebration Chair and has agreed to issue a proclamation in honor of the occasion.

The following are several opportunities to support MTO and renters throughout the City in celebrating this milestone:

Buy Tickets

Table for 10 – $1,000.00 (limited availability)
Tickets – $100.00/person

Please consider sponsoring a renter scholarship ticket when you purchase some for your agency!

To purchase tickets by credit card on line:

1. Go to the MTO website at www.tenants-rights.org.
2. Under Support Our Work on the right hand side of the page, click on Donate Now.
3. Indicate the amount of your purchase and under Designation, indicate the number of tickets you are purchasing and write 25th Event.
4. Proceed as indicated.

Buy Ad-space in the Program Booklet

  • Full Page…………………………….. $300.00
  • Half Page…………………………….. $150.00
  • Quarter Page…..………………..…. $100.00
  • One Eighth Page…………………… $ 65.00
  • Single Line Mention……………. ..$ 35.00
  • Non-profit special package includes: 2 passes to the event & ½ page ad in Program Book….$300.00

Contact Kathy Cheney-Egan at 773.292.4980 ext. 230 or kathy@tenants-rights.org to purchase your ad or tickets today!

Deadline for inclusion on the print invitation is March 31, 2010. Deadline for ordering ad space is April 16th.

Chapter 18-27 Chicago Electrical Code

This provides excerpts of Chap 18-27 as it relates to tenants’ access to their fuse box. The Municipal Code of Chicago requires that either tenants have direct 24 hour open access to the circuit breaker/fuse box, or the management provides the same 24 hour access with their on-duty personnel.

18-27-225.35  Access to occupants.

In a multiple-occupancy building, each occupant shall have access to the occupant’s supply disconnecting means.

Exception: In a multiple-occupancy building where electric supply and electrical maintenance are provided by the building management and where these are under continuous building management supervision, the supply disconnecting means supplying more than one occupancy shall be permitted to be accessible to authorized management personnel only.

(Added Coun. J. 11-3-99, p. 13842, § 5)

18-27-230.70  General.

Means shall be provided to disconnect all conductors in a building or other structure from the service-entrance conductors.

(a)     Location. The service disconnecting means shall be installed at a readily accessible location in the basement or first floor area of a building or structure, within the main wall, at a point not exceeding 5 ft (1.92 m) from the point of entry. When the distance of the service raceway needs to exceed 5 ft (1.92 m) from the point of entry into the building, the service raceway shall conform to the requirements of Section 18-27-230.6.

Exception: For the purposes of this section, readily accessible locations include dedicated electrical rooms, meeting the following conditions:

(1)     Access to room either from inside or outside the building shall be provided for all occupants;

(2)     Rooms shall have a secure, locking-type door(s) that prohibits access to persons other than tenants and/or occupants of the building.

(3)     Rooms shall be of the same construction as the building;

(4)     Rooms shall be for the exclusive use of the electrical service metering and distribution equipment;

(5)     A panelboard with main and branch circuit protection shall be provided within the interior of each unit or space being served;

(6)     A wall switch controlled lighting outlet shall be provided for illumination in all such electrical rooms.

Service disconnecting means shall not be installed in bathrooms.

In high rise buildings or similar buildings, the disconnecting means for the multiple services recognized by Section 18-27-230.2(b)(2) shall be located in a dedicated fire-rated room as near as practical to the serving utility vault. The rooms for the “Main” service disconnecting means which serve the building common element loads shall have a three-hour fire rating. The electrical service rooms for tenant loads shall have a 2-hour minimum fire rating. These rooms shall be for the exclusive use of electrical equipment. Separate service disconnecting means shall be required for each tenant floor. These disconnects shall be permitted to be located on a floor other than the floor served. Where more than one service is permitted to serve one floor, the various disconnecting means and their locations shall be prominently identified as required by Section 18-27-230.2(e). All such rooms shall comply with Section 18-27-110.26.

(b)     Marking. Each service disconnect shall be permanently marked to identify it as a service disconnect.

(c)     Suitable for Use. Each service disconnecting means shall be suitable for the prevailing conditions. Service equipment installed in hazardous (classified) locations shall comply with the requirements of Articles 500 through 517.

(Added Coun. J. 11-3-99, p. 13842, § 5; Amend Coun. J. 1-10-01, p. 50262, § 1)

18-27-230.92  Locked service overcurrent devices.

Where the service overcurrent devices are locked or sealed, or not readily accessible to the occupant, branch- circuit overcurrent devices shall be installed on the load side, shall be mounted in a readily accessible location, and shall be of lower ampere rating than the service overcurrent device.

(Added Coun. J. 11-3-99, p. 13842, § 5)