In 2021, the Illinois General Assembly passed P.A. 102-0110, which became effective on January 1, 2022. This new law amends the Counties Code to permit Illinois residents to modify deeds and restrictive covenants that had been recorded against their properties and include language that restricts the use, transfer, lease, or occupancy of real property on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin. The law is intended to bring property deeds and other recorded documents in line with Section 3-105 of the Illinois Human Rights Act, which makes void any “condition, restriction or prohibition . . . which directly or indirectly limits the use or occupancy of real property on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

The law provides procedural guidelines for Illinois residents to amend property documents associated with residential, commercial, and other property they own. It also provides a mechanism that allows condominium associations and housing cooperatives to amend restrictive covenants with approval by the majority of the members of the condominium or cooperative board. If an owner or member of these communities seeks to amend the covenant, and the board fails or refuses to do so, the owner or member can file an action to compel the filing of modification paperwork to remove the illegal restriction.

All proposed amendments to deeds and restrictive covenants must go through the county recorders office where the property is located, which will then send the modification request to the State’s Attorney’s office for review for proper form. County recorders may impose a filing fee for these covenant modifications in an amount up to $10 per recording.

Post Authored by Erin Monforti & Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink