If an apartment or dwelling unit is separately metered for heat, Chapter 5-16 of the Chicago Municipal Code requires the landlord to provide every prospective renter with written disclosures that (1) the tenant is responsible for paying the apartment's utility costs (assuming that's the case) and (2) a statement disclosing the annual cost of service from the utility company that supplies the primary source of heat, based on energy consumption over the preceding twelve months. If a written Chicago apartment lease assigns the tenant with responsibility for paying the heating costs, the first of these disclosures will have been satisfied. In addition, tenants are required to sign a receipt indicating that the disclosures were made. (The Domu form apartment lease contains a line at the bottom of the first page where the tenant acknowledges receipt of the Chicago Heating Disclosure.) In buildings with central heating or where heating costs are allocated among tenants based on unit size or other criteria, no heating cost disclosures are required.
Chicago apartment landlords who do not have this information handy may call Peoples Gas directly or fax in a standard form requesting a People Gas Heating Cost Disclosure. The official City of Chicago form is made available on this page. After the Peoples Gas receives the completed form, it is required to provide the requested information within two weeks, and a failure to respond in timely fashion may be raised by the landlord in defense of any claim alleging non-compliance with the ordinance. Chicago landlords who fail to make the requisite heating cost disclosures may be fined $500 per violation.