Illinois Rental Laws

Written on November 12, 2012 by , updated on October 30, 2017

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)
  • 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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408 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Lacey

    My mom lived alone in her home and decided to move to Florida, she was willing to just walk away from the house and let the bank take it back. My lease was over and I was looking to get a house for rent, the timing was great. I moved in with my family, we have no rental agreement, contract or lease. My brother and I got into an unrelated dispute and he is now threatening to evict me as the POA (Durable). I know the POA gives him the right to evict me, but can he without cause? I pay the mortgage, all the utilities, keep up the house. Do I have a defense at all if he actually starts the eviction process?

  • Kim

    I’ve lived in the same house for over three years. The landlord lives next door. A few months back my landlord passed away and left the property to a friend.
    I did sign a new lease with the current landlord.
    He drives an ATV through my yard at will, enters and exits my yard, fishes from my property, moves things whenever he wants. Now, he is planting tomatoes in my front yard. Does he have the right to do these things? It is driving me crazy. I live in a quiet area and am use to having the privacy to do what I want but now it seems like I can’t open my blinds or air the house out because someone is always in my yard.

  • Jesse

    My uncle was renting to own a house that had a contract, that is almost paid off. Sometime this year it would’ve been paid off. Well he passed away, his daughter was wanting to finish the remaining payments on the house. Her name isn’t on the contract but lived there when he first started to buy it on contract. Is she able to take over the payments on the house of where it was left off at or will she have to redo a new 3 year rent to own contract.

    According to the landlord after my uncle had passed that he was 3 months behind on rent, which he got every receipt when he payed. Any info is much appreciated.

    • JP


      The contract should follow his Will unless stated clearly (or barred per state law) in the contract that it is “not transferable”. I think it’s time to get a lawyer.

  • Nancy

    The apartment upstairs from me caught fire April 3rd 2017. My apartment suffered smoke and water damage. Fire restoration team was called in by building manager walls and ceilings were gutted out. 60 days later apartment is still left uninhabitable what can I do?

  • Eric Tyler

    Can my landlord turn off my water for week? Illinois

  • Leigh

    I am renting to own. When I moved in I was told that all the plumbing had been fixed. Well after having water turned on I discovered this was not the case. Pipes were missing. Pipes were busting. And water heater was shot. I have since put allot of money into fixing this issue. I believe this is supposed to be the lanlords responsibility. I am to pay my monthly total tomorrow and am hesitant to bring this issue up even tho I am now going to be short half of my payment due to having to have all the work done when I was told it was already fixed. What am I allowed to do here?

    • JP

      It depends on if you gave the landlord an opportunity to fix it. If you did and allowed him time to fix it, you can deduct 1/2 of the rent or $500 whichever is less.

  • Carolyn Vick

    Don’t understand the purpose of this if there is no attorney to answer questions.

  • S. Stephanie

    Are individual bedroom
    Door locks prohibited at rental properties?

  • Colleen

    My daughter was served an eviction notice tonight through their landlord’s attorney. The eviction notice states that they are several hundred dollars behind in rent. My daughter and her significant other state they have receipts that proves their rent is current and up to date. The eviction is for 10 day from today. They have 3 young children and feel it will be impossible to move there entire house hold in 1 0 days ….keep children in school, find a place to live, pack and move. If they can prove they have the rent paid in full do they have to respect this eviction notice ‘legally’? Do they show proof of paid rent to the landlord or to the landlords attorney?

  • jamil

    i own a condo, Assoc. did not repair a busted pipe in common area which resulted a flood. tenant broke lease used up deposit left damages. Association fixed the pipe six months later and new tenant had water leaks,stop paying rent till repair was done. assoc. promised me to reimburse me for lose of rent,clean up compensation and floor repair , I have a registered letter show they admit owing me the money ,then after 2 years now they refuse to pay any thing? now I filed a small claim case . I have pictures and current tenants witnesses to the late repairs and floor need repair. do I have a good case? do I need a lawyer ? if the president of assoc. discriminating against me can this be brought in court, if I win can I ask for release letter

  • Patrice

    I’d like to know if I can get reimbursement from my landlord for duct cleaning. When we moved in back in 2014, I specifically asked if the ducts had been cleaned as I am asthmatic. He said yes. However, each winter I have had asthma attacks and breathing issues. In 2015 I contracted pneumonia and spent an entire month in bed. That enforced bedrest caused a massive pulmonary embolism in my left lung. The winter of 2016/2017 was the worst for my asthma in 20 years. So this summer I decided to have the ducts cleaned. According to the technician, the ducts had not been cleaned in at least 20 years. What do you think?

  • Isidoro Delgadillo

    Me and my wife lived in an apartment for 4 years with pets and paid a security deposit and pet deposit. We no longer lived their for 2 months, the complex is now charging us almost $1,000 for carpet replacement. I was told that in Illinois theirs a law that required the complex to replace the carpet every 3years, if that’s the case are we no longer required to pay for the replacement of the carpet?

  • K.S.

    Last night, we received a letter saying, “Congratulations on listing your unit with XY Realty!” This is the first time we found out that the Unit we are renting is being sold. So we went to the website, and sure enough, it is on the Market. Below, one can click “Request a showing.” Our landlord never told us it was on the market! And our lease ends 12/31/2017. Very very annoyed, and feel completely violated, and do not want anyone randomly showing up!

    What can we do!

  • Laurie

    Does the letter explaining the withholding of the deposit have to be post marked 30 days or received by the Tennant within 30 days?

  • Kim

    One of the apartments that we rent has a dog we just found out and we just renewed the lease with a no pets clause and we told them they have to get rid of the dog and they said it’s a service dog. What is our rights as a land lord? A couple weeks ago they said it was there for a overnight stay now they say a service dog

  • Amanda Bockelman

    Hi. Not sure if this is still open for discussion, but I have a question I have searched for and can’t find the answer. Under Illinois law, does a landlord have to have a gas furnace looked at and maintained once a year? I have been living in an apartment for 3 years now, and my gas furnace has never once been cleaned, looked at, filter changed, etc. And I feel like this has to be against the law. Can’t it catch fire if not maintained?

  • Lori

    If I sent a pay or quit notice to my renters and they left but left belongings, am I legally bound to hold the belongings. There was no formal lease agreement it was a verbal month to month agreement.
    Can I legally hold the belongings in lieu of payment for the rent and utilities that were unpaid?
    Also just a side note the quit or pay notice was given with a 5 day time and it was 45 days later when they had not cleared all the belongings from the property. They were not staying at the property and had not been for several weeks.

  • Asra

    Hello! I can’t seem to find it no matter where I look- does a property owner need a license to rent their property out in the city of Chicago, IL? We have a rental agreement, but we are paying the person’s mortgage and he’s more than once violated the rules landlords are, by law, supposed to comply with. Curious if he’s even doing this legally.


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