‘No heat’ cases fast tracked in court

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CHICAGO --Landlords in 19 cases involving “no heat” complaints were fast-tracked through the court system today.

Tiffany Booker’s home is one of the 19 rental properties flagged by the city. Booker says the heat has been out in her Roseland home since October.

“I've got space heaters but they can only do so much,” she said. “I have plastic on the windows. It's not doing too much good.”

Building department director Felicia Davis says the city has received nearly 600 complaints of tenants with no heat in the last week. Over the weekend, inspectors checked 150 of those units.

“Many of the landlords are misinformed,” Davis said. “They believe they can withhold heat as a punishment for nonpayment of rent and that's absolutely prohibited.”

In court today, the judge appointed what's known as a "receiver" to four buildings. That means the city will send a contractor to fix the heat and put a lien on the property for payment.

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