This 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
- Landlord and Tenant Act – 765 ILCS 705
- Security Deposit Return Act – 765 ILCS 710
- Security Deposit Interest Act – 765 ILCS 715
- Retaliatory Eviction Act – 765 ILCS 720
- Property Taxes of Alien Landlords Act – 765 ILCS 725
- Rent Concession Act – 765 ILCS 730
- Rental Property Utility Service Act – 765 ILCS 735
- Tenant Utility Payment Disclosure Act – 765 ILCS 740
- Residential Tenants’ Right to Repair Act – 765 ILCS 742
- Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Rights Act – 765 ILCS 745
- Safe Homes Act – 765 ILCS 750
- 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)
- Small Claims Court Limits: $10,000
- Eviction Cases Allowed: Yes
- Business License required: No state-wide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements. Check with your local governing authority.
- Illinois Small Claims Court
- Illinois State Courts
- Illinois Department of Insurance
- Illinois Guide to Home Owners Insurance
- Illinois Insurance Association
- Illinois Attorney General
- Illinois Center for Renter’s Rights
- Illinois Tenants Union
- The Chicago Bar Association
- Illinois State Bar Association
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Illinois
- Illinois Real Estate Commission
- Illinois Association of REALTORS®