Under Illinois law, a failure to maintain residential real estate can result in misdemeanor or even felony charges, under the crimes of Criminal Housing Management and Aggravated Criminal Housing Management, as set forth in 720 ILCS 5/12-5.1 and 720 ILCS 5/12-5.1a:
Criminal Housing Managment Charges in Illinois
(720 ILCS 5/12-5.1)
Sec. 12-5.1. Criminal housing management.
(a) A person commits criminal housing management when, having personal management or control of residential real estate, whether as a legal or equitable owner or as a managing agent or otherwise, he or she recklessly permits the physical condition or facilities of the residential real estate to become or remain in any condition which endangers the health or safety of a person other than the defendant.
Criminal housing management is a Class A misdemeanor, and a subsequent conviction is a Class 4 felony. The Class A misdemeanor version can result in a jail sentence of up to 1 year, while the Class 4 felony version can result in a sentence of 1-3 years in prison.
Aggravated Criminal Housing Management Charges in Illinois
(720 ILCS 5/12-5.1a)
Sec. 12-5.1a. Aggravated criminal housing management.
(a) A person commits aggravated criminal housing management when he or she commits criminal housing management and:
(1) the condition endangering the health or safety of a person other than the defendant is determined to be a contributing factor in the death of that person; and
(2) the person recklessly conceals or attempts to conceal the condition that endangered the health or safety of the person other than the defendant that is found to be a contributing factor in that death.
(b) Sentence. Aggravated criminal housing management is a Class 4 felony, which means a person who is convicted faces a 1-3 year prison sentence under Illinois law.
In addition to the possible criminal penalties, the courts in Illinois have the authority to issue injunctions to seize and escrow rent monies and use those funds to repair the property and satisfy legal debts associated with the property.
Civil liability, such as in the case of a wrongful death lawsuit, can also attach to those who are facing Criminal Housing Management and Aggravated Criminal Housing Management charges.