Illinois Rental Laws

Written by on November 12, 2012

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.

This research and information is current as of November 11, 2012.

Official Rules and Regulations


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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331 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Lucas, thank you for your time. I am renting an apartment in my grandmothers building where my uncle currently manages as he is her POA. Back in September of 2015 I text him and told him the kitchen sink has a leak from below. My mother acts as liaison and informed him as well. It went ignored. (that is just his way) After making it clear that since we are family we should not have a problem in helping to fix things. So We replaced the faucet. Then in October, the leak turned into a waterfall and caused damage to both mine and downstairs apartments. 5 months have passed and I am still without a kitchen as he has not completed the repairs. I have been paying rent for an apartment with no kitchen. What can I do? I can’t afford to move.

  • Melvin

    I’ve lived in my apartment for ten years and four months. About three years into my time here the original landlord died and his brother and wife took over. The new landlord was also sued by his widowed sister-in-law for withholding the inheritance due to her and the children, he was executor of the will.
    The new landlords wife is somewhat of a control freak. Tenants are not allowed to have anything outside of their apartment, not even a small can on the stoop for cigarette butts, she claims due to insurance purposes. But, there has been a very severe vermin problem with sparrows nesting in the rafters above the sidewalk, puddles and rivers of sparrow poop all over the sidewall. I’m thinking health hazard besides being extremely repulsive.

  • Victoria

    Hi I live in Illinois and just realized that my key unlocks all of the apartments in my apartment building. Is this illegal that my landlord gave us all the same keys? Can I Sue?

  • Matt

    I used to live in a apartment that has not had any real repairs done to it in years. Half of the outlets when you plug something in the plug just falls back out. There a multiple switches that when turned on has a buzzing sound. None of the sinks have a flume in them to stop the sewer smell. Hot water only lasts about 10 min. Multiple windows broken and never fixed from before we moved in. Is there a number for a safety inspector in my area to call to get this taken care of since he’s trying to blame us for the damages???

  • DEB H

    I work at a local health department and I get phone calls from tenants complaining about living in trailers with mold ,leaking roofs ,no heat .All I can do is recommend them to contact the local code enforcer for the town they live with in, but a lot of these small towns don’t have a code enforcer. Is there any laws that prevent these landlords from renting out trailers with mold and leaking roofs.

  • Kathryn

    My family rents a home that had multiple issues before we moved in. Landlord basically put a “bandaid” over the issues and they are back. We have had leaks and I believe there is a mold issue especially in the basement. My dog has been showing signs as well as my family. Landlord is not responsive to fix issues but is quick to raise rent to cover cost or willing to end lease. We cannot move at this time as much as we would like to. Is the landlord legally responsible to fix the mold issue without retaliation towards my family?

  • Bea

    I live in an apartment in Urbana IL with my husband. Last April, the air conditioner smelled of mold so we notified the office. 11 months and two cleanings later (both times the problem arose again), we’re being told they won’t get new units in until May. It’s not a repair we can make, due to the way it’s in the wall (caulked in or something, and we’re on the second floor). I’ve been told we can withhold rent until they fix the problem. Is that true?

  • Bryan

    I regretably made a deal with the parents of an old friend of mine to repair their dilapidated old house in exchange for rent, whatever I spent went towards rent($300 a month). After three years of living there I’ve turned an unlivable house that was getting ready to fall in, into a rentable/ sellable home. The last year I came up short on spending and I’m asking him to put some of the two hundred plus hours of work I have on the house toward the rent and call it even. That way I can walk away clean and he walks away with a repaired home that he had repaired at no cost to him. If this goes to court is it legal for him to turn my receipts that I spent on the house in on his taxes for a deduction?

  • Andrew

    My family and I have lived in our apartment for almost 7 years now. We did sign a one year lease when we moved in and a 1 year renewal after the first year. After that, the building was sold and the new landlord never gave us ANY type of contract. We continued to pay the same monthly rate up till now. My wife and I have now purchased our first home and are getting ready to move. First of all, how far in advance do we need to give notice? Can we be held responsible for any damages (i.e. stained/torn carpet, holes in the walls from pictures, broken faucet, etc)? Will i get my security deposit back even though it wasn’t paid to my current landlord but to the original landlord?

    Thank you for your time.

  • Grace Mccullough

    my last lease was for 2years. I am preapproved for a house, & looking. My lease ends in 1 month,&a week. I ve been here 3years. I asked if I could have a month to month until I close, the response was 1 month. What’s the law of rate increase he can charge for one month?

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