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

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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186 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Daniel

    I just moved into a new place and noticed that the water takes a ridiculous amount of time to get warmed up. Yesterday to do the dishes, it took a bit over 5 minutes to get hot water. This morning it took about 4:30 minutes to get water warm enough to shower in. While they are “providing hot water” surely there is a limit to how long it can take to get it. In the mean time, I’m wasting gallons of water every time I want something other than cold. What responsibilities does the landlord have to fix the issue and what recourse to have to make sure it gets fixed?

    Thanks.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Daniel,

      It sounds like the water heater isn’t working as it should. Since your only damages are excessive water usage, it seems to me like you could ask your landlord to pay for the repair, or the excessive water usage. You’d have to figure out a realistic amount of usage, lets say 10 gallons every time you have to take a shower or do the dishes, and then subtract that from your water bill.

      I think the best solution is one where you and the landlord agree. If you try to force the landlord’s hand, or withhold rent without the sanction from an attorney, you might get your lease terminated.

      At then end of the lease, when you finally move-out, you could always sue the landlord in small claims for the extra usage as long as you have good records. I don’t know if you’d win, but a lawyer would be able to give you a good estimate.

      I hope that helps. Please know that I’m not a lawyer, nor is this legal advice.

      • Daniel

        Thanks Lucas.

        I don’t actually pay for the water so I’m not out any money, just time. Though I do find it interesting that they seem ok with wasting 10+ gallons a day as you pointed out.

        I was more curious if there were any relevant regulations around this. While they are providing hot water, the fact that so far it’s taken up to 5 minutes to get it seems like they’re complying more through technicality than actual effort.

        Any suggestions for ways I might be able to convince them to act on this? I’m not sure if any other laws might apply along the lines of unit repairs as this definitely seems like a defect. Obviously I’d rather just have the issue resolved than to have to resort to any sort of legal recourse, but I want to make sure that I’m getting what I pay for when it comes to rent and that they are upholding their responsibilities as a landlord.

        Thanks.

        • Lucas Hall

          Hi Daniel,

          If they don’t care about the environment, I doubt you will be able to change their hearts.

          I can’t think of anything that you could do to force them to fix this water issue if they have no desire to do so. Alternatively, they may be open to letting you hire someone, and then deducting it from the rent. Sometimes, a landlord or manager is open to paying for a repair, but not the time and energy it takes to figure out how to fix it.

          • Daniel

            Good thought. They have maintenance out today to look at it so we’ll see what they find. Maybe it’s a water pressure issue they can fix, but I think I’m above the minimum required pressure. They did say though that it’s probably “just the way things are” since I’m so far from the water heater, but I’ve lived in old buildings before where I was far from the boiler so I don’t really believe that excuse.

            Anyway, thanks a ton for your thoughts and feedback. It’s much appreciated.

  • Ryan

    My question is actually for my parents. They own a house and have being renting it out to this young couple. At first they were on time with payments but have now got pretty lax with paying on time. They both say money is tight but he works for the city and has a bass boat and Harley out back but can’t seem to make the rent. Now it’s come to my knowledge that they are trying to sell the house on Facebook with my parents knowledge and this is the second time they have tried to do it….what can my parents do about this?

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Ryan

      First of all, a tenant don’t have the right to sell a property that they don’t own. Just like you wouldn’t be able to sell a rental car that you borrowed, a tenant can’t sell the house they are renting.

      It’s foolish to think otherwise, and they might be trying to scam other people. Your parents could send a cease and desist letter. If your parents want to actually sell the house, they should hire a real estate agent and do it properly. They will probably be able to get 10% more money for the sale of the house if they used a licensed professional, than if they have their tenants do it on facebook.

      As for their other options, they could terminate the tenant’s lease for nonpayment with proper notice. 735 ILCS 5/9-209 says that they can give 5 days notice to pay or move-out when the tenant doesn’t pay on time. I recommend doing this EVERY time a tenant is late on rent.

      http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=073500050HArt%2E+IX&ActID=2017&ChapterID=56&SeqStart=65800000&SeqEnd=73500000

      I hope this helps. Please know that I’m not a lawyer, nor is this legal advice.

  • Dee

    hello, i am renting a room in Chicago on a bi-weekly bases consisting of a total of three rooms and five total roommates. The landlord is subleasing to us all with an individual rental payment of $450-$550 per month. We were just given notice via text message that she will be turning off the electricity because the bill exceeded $200 and as a result being evicted before or at the ending of the month. Can i prevent her from doing this? We have called her regarding the damage to the bathroom shower faucet and leak which she has not repaired and the lack of ventilation in the bathroom, which she said she would send a repair person to check. I know what she is doing regarding leasing and subleasing individual rooms is not kosher but I do not know the law in Chicago.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Dee,

      A landlord is never allowed to shut off the electricity as a method of trying to get the tenants to move out. This is called a “self-help eviction” and it’s illegal in almost every state.

      Here’s an article I did on the topic: http://www.landlordology.com/self-help-eviction-lock-out/

      However, if you rent bi-weekly, then the landlord could give you 30 days notice to terminate your lease. If you don’t leave, you could be held responsible for damages, and even have an eviction judgement put against you.

      But, if the landlord just shuts off the power, then you should call a lawyer, or your local housing authority ASAP.

      Please know that I’m not a lawyer, nor is this legal advice. A local attorney in Chicago would be able to guide you better.

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