The following resources have been compiled to assist Northwestern Students who live off-campus with City of Evanston rules and regulations.
Residents can call 311 or 847-448-4311 seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to ask questions, request services or report non-emergency situations such as potholes and graffiti. Want to know more about 311? Click here for "Your Key to the City"
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Landlord & Tenant Ordinance
The purpose of the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance is to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare of the City of Evanston's citizens, to establish rights and obligations of the landlord and the tenant in the rental of dwelling units and to encourage the landlord and the tenant to maintain and improve the quality of housing.
Dwelling Unit Ordinance
The Evanston City Code requires that no dwelling unit (single family, duplex, apartment etc.) shall be occupied by more than three (3) unrelated persons living together unless the landlord has a valid lodging establishment license.
All residents should be advised that when signing leases, landlords who do not have lodging establishment licenses cannot lawfully lease or permit subleases that would allow more than three (3) unrelated students/roommates in any dwelling unit.
The City of Evanston will continue to enforce these requirements. If your lease or sublease violates the City Code your landlord may ultimately terminate your lease/sublease.
The City of Evanston regulates the occupancy in Rental Housing through the Zoning Ordinance. The two sections providing this regulation are 6-4-1-14 and 6-18-3 and are listed below.
6-4-1-14: - OCCUPANCY OF DWELLING UNITS:
No dwelling unit shall be occupied by more than one type (A), type (B), or type (C) family, as defined in Chapter 18, "Definitions", of this Ordinance except as hereinafter provided:
(A) Upon written application to the Zoning Administrator, certification of approval shall be issued or occupancy for a dwelling unit by a type (D) family in all districts where dwelling units are allowed, except the R1 and R2 Districts, provided that the application establishes that the occupancy conforms with the definition of a type (D) family. The members of a type (D) family household shall not keep or store more than one motor vehicle for each such dwelling unit or for each off-street parking space lawfully existing in connection with such dwelling unit, whichever is greater. Certification would be revoked at any time the occupancy or off-street parking no longer conforms to the definition of a type (D) family, or if a request for current records is not answered so as to establish that the type of ownership complies with the definition of a type (D) family.
(B) No dwelling unit which contains less than one thousand (1,000) square feet of floor area shall be used to provide living quarters for roomers, servants or permanent guests. Where the floor area of a dwelling unit exceeds one thousand (1,000) square feet and the family occupying the dwelling unit is a type (A) or type (B) family then the dwelling unit may also be used for living quarters for not more than two (2) servants, roomers, or permanent guests, provided that the living quarters are located within the dwelling unit as a physically integral part. (Ord. 43-0-93).
6-18-3: - DEFINITIONS:
For the purposes of this Ordinance, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
- (A) Type (A) Family: One or more persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption living together as a single housekeeping unit in a dwelling unit.
- (B) Type (B) Family: Two (2) unrelated persons and their children living together as a single housekeeping unit in a dwelling unit.
- (C) Type (C) Family: A group of not more than three (3) unrelated persons living together as a single housekeeping unit in a dwelling unit.
- (D) Type (D) Family: A group of two (2) or more persons containing within it one or more families, as defined in subsections (A) and (B) of this definition, including a husband and wife married to one another and their children, as well as adults, living together in a dwelling unit as a single housekeeping unit and management, in premises in which the adult occupants are affiliated with a bona fide not for profit corporation organized for religious purposes chartered by the state of Illinois, that owns or rents the property and has been in existence for at least five (5) years prior to seeking certification by the director of planning and zoning as provided herein; provided, that in no case shall the total occupancy of the dwelling unit exceed two (2) persons per bedroom, nor shall the premises be utilized for religious public assembly. This type (D) family may occupy a dwelling unit only in accordance with the procedures in section 6-4-1-14 of this title.
Click here for the Occupancy of Dwelling Unit Ordinance
If you suspect that a rental dwelling unit has been illegally altered or is not safe for habitation please contact the City of Evanston Property Standards Division immediately at (847) 866-2927.
Evanston landlords are required to pay interest on the security deposits they receive from their tenants, and they are obligated to pay tenants any interest by cash or credit (applied to rent due) within 30 days after the end of each 12-month period.
For more information about security deposits & annual deposit rates, please see the table on this page
- Residential Parking Permits and One-Day Visitor Permits are available here.
- Snow Route Parking Ban and Snow Emergencies are regulations here, please follow all posted signage. Vehicle owners are responsible for knowing the rules that apply to Snow Route Parking Bans and Snow Emergencies.
- Pay or Contest Parking Tickets online.
- On Street Cleaning days your vehicle must be moved from affected streets. Find your street cleaning days here.
Click here for the Noise ordinance.
Waste - Special Pickups and Bulk Trash Days
When you have an unusually large amount of garbage, especially after a move-out or move-in, you can request a special pick-up online or call 3-1-1 to request a special pick-up. A fee will be placed on your next water bill for payment.
The City of Evanston Streets & Sanitation Division offers the FREE removal of bulk garbage twice per year. To learn more check out our Bulk Trash Days info page.