VillaSPRINGFIELD ­– A measure championed by State Senator Karina Villa aiming to protect tenants from different forms of landlord retaliation passed the Senate on Wednesday.

“With fear of retaliation, tenants would rather stay in inadequate living conditions than speak up – this cannot continue,” said Villa (D-West Chicago).  “Tenants spend their hard earned money on rent. At minimum, they should be confident when taking actions to ensure that their home is properly maintained.”

House Bill 4768 would protect tenants from a landlord who knowingly terminates their tenancy, increases rent, decreases services, brings or threatens a lawsuit or refuses to renew a lease after a tenant sought assistance to ensure their housing was safe and habitable.

Actions taken by a tenant protected under the measure includes requests for repairs, complaints of code violations, organizing or being a member of a tenants’ union, testifying in an official proceeding, seeking assistance from elected officials and exercising any other right provided by law.

“These unjust methods of retaliation lead to housing instability, financial insecurity and ultimately homelessness which further harms our communities,” said Villa. “It is the responsibility of landlords to maintain a property and we must protect tenants who are simply holding their landlords accountable.”

House Bill 4768 passed the Senate on Wednesday.