Illinois Rental Laws

Last updated on August 24, 2016 by

Flag of IllinoisThis article summarizes some key Illinois Landlord-Tenant laws applicable to residential rental units.

We’ve used the Official State Statutes and other online sources cited below to research this information and it should be a good starting point in learning about the law.

With that said, our summary is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice. Laws and statutes are always subject to change, and may even vary from county to county or city to city.

You are responsible for performing your own research and complying with all laws applicable to your unique situation.

If you have legal questions or concerns, we recommend consulting with the appropriate government agencies and/or a qualified lawyer in your area. Your local or state bar association may have a referral service that can help you find a lawyer with experience in landlord-tenant law.

Official Rules and Regulations

Details

Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: No Limit (765 ILCS 710/1)
  • Security Deposit Interest: Landlords who own 25 or more units must pay interest on deposits held for 6 months or longer.  Interest rate must match the rate paid by savings accounts held at the largest commercial bank in the state as of Dec. 31 prior to the start of tenancy.  This must be credited or paid-out to Tenant every 12 months. (765 ILCS 715/1&2)
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No statute
  • Pet Deposits and Additional Fees: No statute
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: Between 30 and 45 days (765 ILCS 710/1)
  • Require Written Description / Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes (765 ILCS 710/1)
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No statute

Lease, Rent & Fees:

  • Rent Increase Notice: No statute
  • Late Fees: No statute
  • Returned Check Fees: No statute
  • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): Yes (765 ILCS 735)
  • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: Yes, but it must not exceed one-half of the rent or $500. (765 ILCS 742)
  • Landlord Allow to Recover Court and Attorney’s Fees: Yes
  • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Mitigate Damages to Lessee, including an Attempt to Rerent: Yes (735 ILCS 5/9-213.1)

Notices and Entry:

  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Yearly Lease: 60 days (735 ILCS 5/9-205)
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Month-to-Month: 30 days (735 ILCS 5/9-207)
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Week-to-week: 7 days (735 ILCS 5/9-207)
  • Notice of date/time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute
  • Eviction Notice for Nonpayment: 5 days to pay or move-out. (735 ILCS 5/9-209)
  • Eviction Notice for Lease Violation: 10 days (735 ILCS 5/9-210)
  • Required Notice before Entry: No statute
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): No statute
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No statute
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No statute
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: No statute
  • Lockouts Allowed: No
  • Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Landlord must change the locks or keys every time the house is vacated or between tenants.
  • Landlord must provide a formula for dividing up utilities when utilities are split among multiple tenants. (765 ILCS 740)
  • For units on the 2nd floor or lower, Landlord must disclose any existence of Radon.
  • Tenant may terminate a lease early in special circumstances involving sexual assault, sexual abuse, or domestic violence. (765 ILCS 750)
  • Landlords must change the locks if requested by a domestic violence victim. (765 ILCS 750)
  • Landlords can require tenants to provide proof of domestic violence status from tenants. (765 ILCS 750)
  • Landlords must not disclose the status of the domestic violence victim to anyone. (765 ILCS 750)
  • If property is abandoned, Landlord may harvest and seize crops to reclaim unpaid rent. (735 ILCS 5/9-318)
  • Landlord must not terminate or refuse to renew a lease to a tenant who has filed an official complaint to a Government Authority (765 ILCS 720)

Court Related:

  • Small Claims Court Limits: $10,000
  • Eviction Cases Allowed: Yes

Business Licenses:

  • Business License required: No state-wide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements.  Check with your local governing authority.
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387 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Joe

    I want to buy a house, but still in a lease. CAN I legally break the lease without penalty?

    • Alex

      No, unless you can prove the landlord isn’t doing his job by providing a safe environment you are on the hook for the rent until your lease ends. In many cases however talk to the landlord, they might be willing to allow you to sublease to someone else to take the remainder of your contract.

  • Bill Hutchins

    My landlord here in Cook County, IL is running a furnace 24/7 but the house in which I rent a room in has a temperature currently of 60 degrees, drafts from windows, front door and what seems to be no insulation in the attic is causing the heat to go right out the house as fast as the furnace can produce it. Is there a law that states a landlord must keep a house, filled with only tenants, landlord does not live here, each tenant is renting 1 bedroom at a certain temperature during the day and the then again at night when we sleep?? Thanks in advance, even if no answer is available for the question.

  • Christina

    Can my landlord increase rent in a middle of a lease?

    • Alex

      No, the lease should have an explicit breakdown of all costs including late fees. If he is charging more than he is breaching the contract. If the rent isn’t specified in the lease, make sure you can prove how much you’ve been paying by showing receipts.

  • Toby Ellison

    Im currently renting a house with a outdated furnace that doesn’t heat entire house and windows that are also out dated in return producing cold drafts having my electric bill very high to a unimaginable and unpayable rate. Are bedroom just a month ago had black mold all around the baseboards on the walls and on the ceilings and they refused to approach the problem and bought a bottle of spray to fix the problem and we all have had upper respitory problems so we gave refused to pay them until it was fixed and still nothing. They told the town we weren’t paying rent in hopes to humiliate us into moving and hasn’t worked so now they are typing a eviction notice to have us removed. Mind you we have twin 12 boys and a 3 or old living here as we

  • Kevin

    My landlord is demanding $60 for each day that payment is late, on a $1,000 monthly rent. But the rental agreement just says “Late charge: $60” without specifying as a daily rate. I think most people would assume this to mean a one-time fee for the month. I have never heard of such a thing as a daily late fee; it seems almost predatory. Is this even legal in Illinois? Would it hold up in court?

    • josh

      I am not a lawyer I am someone who has had tons of crap land lords. Land Lords in Illinois can charge what they want for late fees but any reasonable judge in an eviction case would lower that amount. The Land lord does have to back up how it cost him $60 in damages if you challange it in court. Just make sure you pay your full rent amount before the end of your 5 day notice he has to accept it with no late fees. He can not evect for late fees.

    • Alex

      I could be wrong so take this as a grain of salt, but I think the late fee in IL is $10 for the first $500 in rent, then 5% for the rest. so in your case late fees should not exceed $35/month if you pay $1000 in rent. Also, you have until the 5th of the month to pay usually before it’s considered late.

      All this can be avoided however if you plan your finances ahead and pay on time!

  • Shirley Miller

    I have a month to month verbal agreement with my renters. They moved out and let there son take over the place. He is an adult and causing all kinds of havoc in the neighborhood. Can I give them a thirty day eviction notice to leave without reason stated on notice to quit eviction notice or sell because they broke the verbal agreement?

    • Alex

      Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you. If you have a verbal agreement, it’s in your best interest to say you no longer wish to continue the agreement and nothing more. Give them 30 days notice and send them on their way. It is your right to cancel verbal agreements anytime so long as you are not terminating due to discrimination, and give them proper notice to vacate.

  • sonya

    Hi, I just got my bill in the mail for my rent and my utelities is included, since I renewed my lease in July in 2016 my payments was 1186 a month, and now since January my bill was 1202 and now Feburauy rent is 1238 and some change I talked to the manager about it, and he mention that everyone in my building is splitting the gas bill, I haven’t received a notice or anything about this, is this even legal, and how can I go about this, I have copies of all my statements since I renewed my lease and my lease, I’m a single mother with 2 kids and barley making it myself, I don’t have extra money to pay someone eles bills

  • Christian cotts

    Does a renter need a license to rent a extra room in there house?

    • Alex

      Yes, check local home sharing laws. You also need to have a lease that specifies subletting is allowed or you will find yourself evicted.

  • Thomas

    I live in a rental apartment that comes with a detached garage that is shared with 3 other tenants. The landlord has no locks on the door to the garage. I am now missing some items that I stored in the garage and am wondering who is responsible for theses items, me or the landlord?

  • Patrick

    In IL;
    My girlfriend was renting an apartment, she told her landlord when she moved in that she was only able to pay until after the 10th of every month. The landlord told her that there would be a $10 fee on top of the rent owed. My girlfriend was fine with that. But every month the landlord took up her rent, but also included an eviction notice every month. My girlfriend only lived there for four months, and after getting harassed after 3 months, the fourth month she moved out. Because she got tired of the notices. The landlord wants to keep security deposit and says she owes over $500. She was only paying $337 per month. The eviction notice(s) weren’t mailed. Is this in the landlord’s right to still collect after evicting/harassing?

  • vhake

    What is the Illinois law on the number of days to give a renter a notice to move out when a rental property needs plumbing repair, is for sale, or has sold?
    We thought 30 days. And, hoped with the cost of eviction.
    Any information details are appreciated!

  • Lynda Moore

    I received a Letter to vacate in 60 days from the Landlord. In the letter, the Landlord expects me to continue to pay rent until termination. what could the landlord do that is within the law if I failed to pay the rent?

  • Deborah

    Next door new landlord has not rebuilt a fence separating our properties.The 100 y/o wooden fence,dry rotted&fell. The owner then,had dementia,then a stroke&
    died.House vacant til now.New owner
    rented to tenants with huge pit bull and despite MAN requests from me,never put up a fence.Dog is crapping in my yard.
    What are my rights?I can’t even empty my garbage for fear of unleashed pit bull.
    Owner is dragging his feet,supposedly he spoke to tenants but the crap, trespassing
    and no fence continue.Advice?

  • Cutie

    Can my tenant change the locks without my consent and don’t give me a copy of the key?

  • Robert

    Can a landload make their renters paint their own apartments and pay the cost for the labor ?

  • Rosy

    We are a group of international students staying in an apartment that we took for rent 6 months ago. The employee in the lease office is a constant pain. She comes to our place all of a sudden without any notice and takes photos of the hall and kitchen area and says that we did not keep the area clean and asks us to vacate the house. She complicates the issues by saying sheriff would come to our place and we have to go to court. In spite of we maintaining the kitchen very clean, she sent a maintenance guy today to take photos. we placed our eggs in the storage area. She came and said since we kept the eggs in storage we should vacate the house. plz help us how to deal with this senseless lady.

  • Billy

    Apartment we are looking at requires a non-refundable $200 pet-security deposit as well as a $20 pet fee per animal.

    Is this non refundable fee protected by state law and/or is this sort of thing normal? Maybe I am off-base, but it seems a bit ridiculous to me.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Billy

      Feel free to browse through the statutes linked above. I didn’t see anything in them re: non-refundable fees, but I’m not a lawyer.

      I suggest checking with your property manager about what your lease says.

      Generally speaking, “deposits” should be refundable minus damages, and “fees” are not. A “non-refundable deposit” is an oxymoron. Here’s an article on the topic: https://www.landlordology.com/pet-deposits-pet-fees-and-pet-rent/

      FWIW, every apartment I’ve ever lived in either had a “pet deposit, and a monthly pet fee” or a “large one-time pet fee, followed by smaller monthly pet fees”.

  • Emil

    I rented a house to three single men. The lease stipulates that they are not to have long -term (over 2 weeks) “guests” without notifying the landlord.
    The lease ended and the men have just (today) moved out. We suspected that one of them had a girlfriend living with him for months, but when confronted told us she was only there for two weeks.
    Today I found mail in the mailbox addressed to this girlfriend at this address. It was apparently a bank statement. I believes that proves she was there more than two weeks.
    Can I deduct a months rent from the security deposit?

  • Chris

    I rent a house from someone who lives in another country. I found out that he claims General Homestead tax exemption on the house here in IL. I am in a 2 yr lease and gave him a 7 month notice that I want to terminate the lease after 1 yr. Is my lease even binding if the owner did not sign it but his father signed for him. And since he claims general homestead isnt that illegal when he has not lived in the home for 4 yrs?

    Please let me know. Thank you

  • AdO

    All my windows are painted shut. I have a front door and a back door that open. Are landlords required to provide windows that open?

  • Jim

    My son moved out of his apartment and across the country after signing a lease with a friend in Lincoln Park. So that we can look at the options that we have for terminating the lease, we have been requesting a copy of it for over four months. The landlord has failed to supply it.

    Is there any law requiring him to supply a copy of the lease when it is requested by the tenant?

  • Linda Maffeo

    My husband and I have a contract with tenants that is rent with option to buy. The contract is for 2 years and I suggested to him that in case they don’t get an approved loan they may get resentful. Is there any stipulation according to Illinois law that says that we can’t inspect the property maybe every 6 months with a notice given to them?

  • Erin Young

    A family friend in IL was renting a home from a friend, with no lease for the past 2 years. The owner just gave them 3 weeks notice to move stating she wants to move back in. I thought standard was 30 days?

  • Janet

    I rent the lower level of a home. The utilities for the above and lower are combined and in the landlords name . There is no insulation in the basement . Our thermometer reads 58 in the winter and we have purchased insulation but need help installing it . The landlord has been notified regarding the high utility bills but refuses to help reduce the cost and has threatened me to move if I cannot pay them. Never late on the rent but now warned that if a set amount of money isn’t deposited by Monday that I must vacate. Advise appreciated.

  • Nicole

    I have been leasing my apartment for almost a year, and just signed another years lease. We have had problems in the past with the office manager letting herself in without notice, and locking our tiny old dog up in the spare bedroom/office. After complaining to the management about it, it had stopped. Tonight we came home to find him locked up again, and the doors all locked. We filed a police report.

    Do we have the right to A. Change the locks and ask that she bot get a copy of the key, and B. Teinate our lease without penalty. She has been breaking into our apartment, and the lease states that unless it’s an emergency, they have to give notice. The owners claim to not have entered each time.

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