That sounds bad. You do have rights in the city of Chicago. You should contact 311 and report the violation. Also, document everything. You will need to show documentation that you have tried to work with your landlord if you feel it has reach the level of needing to break your lease. Also, if you paid a security deposit and your landlord has not been paying the interest every year he has done a big no no.
the area, because of open garbage cans, litter and other, it is hard to get rid of them for good....
And even if one closes up entrance spots they may just find another one.....
So assessing the problem, where they enter, how they get there, remember they do climb walls and are quite the acrobatics if they want to get somewhere.....
Having said that, your landlord in general should be worried about the destruction the rats will at the end
cause to the building, the attic or basements and to the walls, so it should be in the landlord;s interest to do something about it, consistently to avoid for them to return....
Now if you can not get anywhere with the landlord directly then you need to contact those who can be of assistance to you the tenant, the Metro tenants organization will give you some advice and you can also contact the city health department, as they will know how to take care of the issue.
And heed the recommendations of others below, before holding back rent or anything make sure you
get good legal advice and do everything in the right manner, in writing and in a timely manner.
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If I were you, I'd first contact the Metropolitan Tenants Organization. They will have multiple resources for you (including potentially attorney referrals if it gets to that).
You can potentially withhold rent from your landlord until the condition is corrected (either by you or the landlord), HOWEVER you MUST make sure that you've delivered proper notice (delivered in the proper way and with sufficient time prior to your rent actually being withheld) to your landlord that you intend to withhold rent until the condition is fixed.
You can look online for a copy of the full Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance to attempt to find the specifics for yourself, but again I'd be sure to consult either the Metropolitan Tenants Organization or a tenant's attorney if I were you before I took any action against my landlord.
Good luck to you, and let me know if I could be of further assistance to you.
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716 E. 47th St. Chicago, IL 60653
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