(WBBM Newsradio) — The City of Chicago is taking court action against landlords and building owners for failing to provide enough heat or hot water in this frigid weather.

The cases are not all cut and dry, however, WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.

One landlord at the twice-weekly “heat complaint” court session very credibly said she didn’t know about her tenants’ complaints until city government notified her, Chicago Assistant Corporation Counsel Richard McKenzie says.

In that and other cases, the building owners try to make a good-faith effort to fix the problem, quickly, he says.

“Many of them are motivated by: they do not wish to be fined,” he says.

McKenzie says most owners try to resolve the problems, and the city won’t fine them if action is quick. But landlords who don’t comply could face fines from $1,000 to $3,000 per day.

The city on Thursday asked for control of two buildings at this court call.

Also this week, a home for women in need had to be shut down because of a lack of heat. The city is trying to work out a long-term housing plan for displaced families.

Tenants whose apartments don’t have enough heat are encouraged to call the city at 3-1-1.

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