Illinois Rental Laws

Written on November 12, 2012 by , updated on March 16, 2018

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

Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: No Limit (765 ILCS 710/1)
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit:  The landlord must return the security deposit to the tenant within 45 days of the tenant moving out of the unit. The deposit must be delivered in person or via postmarked mail. (765 ILCS 710/1(a))
  • Nonrefundable Deposits:  No statute
  • Security Deposit Interest: Landlords who own 25 or more units must pay interest on deposits held for 6 months or longer. The 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. Earnings from the interest must be credited or paid-out to the tenant every 12 months. (765 ILCS 715/1&2)
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No statute
  • Pet Deposits and Additional Fees: No statute
  • Advance Notice of Deposit Withholding: No statute
  • Move-Out Checklist / Itemized List of Damages and Charges:Yes, and the list must be sent to the tenant within 30 days from the day the tenant moved out of the rental unit. (765 ILCS 710/1)
  • Joint Move-Out Inspection: No statute
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No statute
  • Receipt of Deposit:  No statute
  • Failure to Comply:  If the landlord fails to return the security deposit within 45 days, the tenant is recover twice the amount owed, plus court costs and “reasonable” attorney fees (765 ILCS 710(c).

Lease, Rent & Fees:

  • Rent Increase Notice: No statute
  • Late Fees: Landlords may charge a “reasonable” late fee, defined as $20 or 20% of the rent, beginning on the fifth day after the rent is due (770 ILCS 95.7.10)
  • 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 the cost of repairs 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-120(d))
  • 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): Yes (735 ILCS 5/9-102)
  • 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 (765 ILCS 750/1).
  • Landlord must provide a formula for dividing up utilities when utilities are split among multiple tenants. (765 ILCS 740/5)
  • Landlord must disclose any existence of Radon in any rental unit (420 ILCS 46/25)
  • Tenant may terminate a lease early in special circumstances involving sexual assault, sexual abuse, or domestic violence. (765 ILCS 750/5)
  • Landlords must change the locks if requested by a domestic violence victim. (765 ILCS 750/20)
  • Landlords can ask tenants to provide proof of domestic violence status in the form of medical or court records, police reports, or a statement from a victim services or domestic violence organization. (765 ILCS 750)
  • Landlords must not disclose the status of the domestic violence victim to anyone. (765 ILCS 750/27)
  • 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:

Business Licenses:

  • Business License required: No statewide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements.  Check with your local governing authority.

Court & Legal Related

State Agencies & Regulatory Bodies

Housing Authorities

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444 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Chrystal

    I babysit my grandson and I do it at my house and his mother’s my question is can her landlord tell her she can not have guest he has asked several times if I lived there and we have told him multiple times that I was just there to watch the baby we had gone there Tonite to take the baby there and put him to bed and her landlord came over telling us we made her break the lease by being there then my husband cought him peeking in her windows he says that her lease says she can not have anyone spend the nite I have not seen the lease can he do that

    • Sylvia Taylor

      Can a long time tenant without the landlords admission allow friends and relatives to move in? Do the landlord have any rights as far as asking for additional rent from the other people? If so, what is the rate that can be charged for each bed room?

  • Ms B

    Here is the situation. We have been good tenants. Pay on time gave more than a 60 day notice that we are relocating to another state and will not be signing another lease. Get a call from the property managements broker wants to set a showing up of the house, says he has a family that wants to look at it. We agree. It was an OPEN HOUSE with over 100 people in the home. He did not make us aware of this. FINE we handle it. Now they want us to paint the walls from hanging pictures (small nail holes) and from normal wear and tear of the home. It does not state anywhere in my lease I need to paint the home. Is this something I need to start getting legal help involved with? The property management is treating us bad because we have to relocate!

  • skevbeg

    Rented an apartment in a large house in Springfield’s “Historical West Side” Douglas and Edwards. Tenants moving out. Sewer problem..the property owners are in litigation with the City as to responsibility. Basement is filled with sewage. The stench is bad. Tenants, some of whom have lived here for decades are moving out. Can not find Property Managers on line. Signed a year long lease in February. The smell is bad and leading to health problems. Can I leave and break the lease?

  • Annie

    I was wondering if in the state of Illinois cook county if there is a cap or limit as to how much a landlord can raise your rent. I have lived in my apartment for going on 9 years now but the building was recently sold. Is there a limit as to how much he can raise my rent?

  • Shirley

    Mother let homeless man known to family move in for “several weeks,” but it turned into two years. Mom died two months ago, his family claimed to try to find suitable housing for him, but nobody in family will accept him. He has never paid rent, bills, and contributed nothing and was allowed by mom to stay. Property left to family member. Guest refuses to leave, says new owner must take him to court. His ID has shelter address on it. He gets mail but never asked permission for that. He now claims he had agreement with mom and is requesting money. What rights does he have in Illinois, must he be legally evicted? Police says he is a tenant after 30 days even he was never asked to pay rent.

  • Daniel

    Received what I think is a invalid 30 day notice from my landlord and what I mean is the notice contains my name but totally misspelled not even close and it’s notarized from a different state,so is it valid ?

  • Jessica PB

    In Illinois. Our tenants rented our home for several years. The lease has a no-smoking clause in it. The tenants recently sent photos of the upper walls and ceiling in several rooms, with dark streaks all along it. Contractor to came to determine the cause. Per contractor, caused by smoking. Per Painters eval/quote; they said the same – caused by smoking. What are my options here, given that they are still on a current lease? Can I deduct this from the security deposit now? Can i refuse to paint then deduct from security deposit when lease is over? Pretty sure we need to send a letter to formally notify them that they are in violation of the no smoking policy and further violations will result in termination of the lease? ugh!

  • Shirley Prince

    Is there any policy on 1 person per bedroom

  • John Silverman

    (770 ILCS 95.7.10) is an incorrect citation, as this law only applies to storage space rentals.

  • Jenni Tuton


    I just moved out of a rental where I lived for 4 years and took GREAT care of the house. Can they charge me for painting the home? And I had the house cleaned and carpets done (which was not part of the move out in the lease) and they are trying to take almost $2000 of my $3000 deposit. I left the house in better condition than it was received.

    Please advise. Thank you!

  • Tania Fendrich

    I have rented from my landlord for 2 years now, great tenant always on time paying my rent, never any issues here. My lease was up July 31st. He gave me an extension until August 15th I gave him $700 for the two weeks. Now it’s the 19th and he wants me out because he signed a lease with someone 2 days ago and supposedly they’re moving in today. I haven’t found a place yet I’m having problems because I have no credit and 5 kids. Can he still throw me out?

  • Ashley G

    What is the rule when it comes to someone that is not on the lease, but has destroyed our public housing property? Can they be barred? We were told that because he has established residence at an apartment he can not be barred. We was not aware that he was staying there. That we must give him a 30 day eviction notice. Our policy states a guest (someone not on the lease) may only stay 14 out of 30 days or 30 out of 365 days.

  • Holly

    Boyfriend and I have been renting from a guy who is renting out the whole house to several tenants. He has put the property up for rent and has not informed us. We found out by the sign that shows the property up for sale by the highway. I looked up online through the company selling the house and it is definitely up for sale. What can we do? He hasn’t informed us of ANY info and he won’t respond when we text him. We are located in IL

  • Brian

    I own my home but lease land in a mobile home park in south Chicago suburbs. The owner is going up on rent an extra $40 per month starting 2019. Is this significant increase legal?

  • AJ

    I moved out of my rental after 4 years and I received a statement from my former landlord which states I owe $2,412.29 for “carpet, removal and disposal”. The home is less than 1,000 sq ft and only about 750 sq ft is carpeted. The carpet was not new when I moved in and the previous tenant lived in the home 2-3 years, so I estimate that it was at least 6-7 years old. I am certain based on price/size of home that this is not a depreciated value for the carpet. Can someone please advise what the useful life of carpet is in Illinois?
    The letter was dated 10-26 and says to remit payment by 11-17. I’ll gladly pay what I owe, but I feel this is a lot of money for such old carpet.

  • Matt

    Me and my girlfriend live in an apt in IL that we have been in for about a year and a half. The apt has a broken heating system which was not a huge deal last winter but this year my girlfriend is pregnant and we can’t afford having our electric bill go up for two electric heaters we bought constantly going. We mentioned it to the original owner that came out to look at our gas heater in the apt and said that it never did work. The house was sold to a new owner, which inspections were done in the summer so i think the heater was not checked. I have notified the new owner and just ignores or says she will send someone out. I cannot take another winter like this, do I have the ability to break the lease legally and move out?

  • gordon

    Is there any place that addressed a rented house in Illinois and related laws?

  • Rachel

    I am a tenant. I have been in my apartment for a little over a year now. The tenants before us had 2 dogs and there are multiple pet stains and an odor. I have been told that legally my landlord should have replaced the carpet. Is this true and how do I find this information?

  • Eve

    My 21 unit building has been without heat for 3 weeks (starting 12/14/18) due to failure of the boiler. There is still no estimated date of repair completion. The complex provided space heater is not sufficient to heat 1 closed off room over 60 degrees. Can I abate the prorated portion of the monthly rent??

  • Upnorth

    Your citation of 735 ILCS 5/9-102, purporting to authorize entry by landlord for maintenance, may be outdated or otherwise inaccurate. That cited statute does not refer to entry for maintenance with prior notice.

  • Tracy

    This link is incorrect, it refers to sex abuse, not anything to do with real estate.

    Notice to Terminate a Lease – Yearly Lease: 60 days (735 ILCS 5/9-205).

    Also, we have to be wary in Chicago as the RLTO determines most of the landlord/ tenant laws in the city. Don’t just trust the Illinois statutes to protect you, you must know both.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Tracy,
      Thanks for the feedback, but the link is correct. Just scroll down 3/4ths of the way down the page and you’ll see it. Or hit CTRL+F and search for “205”.

  • Lorie

    My father has a tenant that has moved out of one of his property’s as of October 2018.
    The tenant has not removed any of her belongings as of 2/18/2019, this tenant has paid no rent since at least October of 2018.
    We had to change the lock on upper and lower apartments because the were both broken and we had some security concerns. This person was notified and was asked to call us when she was ready to claim her belongings.
    we would like to complete some repairs and begin the process
    of selling this property
    Where do we begin and what are the tenets rights and my fathers as a landlord.

  • Erin Hale

    I am usually very good at finding information or already knowing the answers. I have several degrees in the legal field plus I used to be a real estate agent in Missouri. A year and a half ago I was hit by a car and suffer from post concussion syndrome. This is causing problems with my being able to figure things out so I’m hoping that you can help. What I really need is the statue, policy, or whatever legal documents would cover some of the issues that I am having with 3 different property management companies. I’m going to start with what I think, or at least hope, is the easiest one. It will be in additional comments

  • Srinivasan Madabushi

    My Leasing Agency has sent the final account statement bill after 56 days of my vacation/move-out listing the itemized costs for repairing..It also includes an exorbitant 500$ for carpet. I did not receive any email/Mail in these 56 days after my lease ended/move-out. The ststement mentions that over the deposit amount they have withheld, around 600$ is the balance that I have to Pay!!!

    As per the 765 ILCS 710/1, the Landlord has to provide written notice with the intent to withhold the deposit along with an estimate/bill of cleaning charges within 30-45 days of vacation.

    Since the landlord exceeded that date, whats the recourse for me here? Can someone throw light on this please…

  • Srinivasan Madabushi

    My Leasing Agency has sent the final account statement bill after 56 days of my vacation/move-out listing the itemized costs for repairing..It also includes an exorbitant 500$ for carpet. I did not receive any email/Mail in these 56 days after my lease ended/move-out. The ststement mentions that over the deposit amount they have withheld, around 600$ is the balance that I have to Pay!!!

    As per the 765 ILCS 710/1, the Landlord has to provide written notice with the intent to withhold the deposit along with an estimate/bill of cleaning charges within 30-45 days of vacation.

    Since the landlord exceeded that date, whats the recourse for me here? Can someone throw light on this please…Also is there any use in negotiating with the landlord

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