Illinois Tenant Rights Laws

From Chicago to Carbondale, renters in Illinois are familiar with the wide array of issues that can arise during a given tenancy. Thankfully, there are many federal, state, and local laws designed to govern the landlord-tenant relationship, in addition to the terms of your rental contract. Read on to learn more about Illinois tenant rights laws and how they can help you.

Discrimination, Security Deposits, Repairs, and More

While the terms of your lease will define some of your rights and responsibilities, Illinois state law provides protections beyond those terms. For example, landlords may not refuse to rent to you based on your race or disability. They must also abide by the implied warranty of habitability, which means they have to provide a unit that is fit for living in, free from hazardous conditions, and in compliance with local building and health codes.

There are also several laws governing the ways in which a tenancy can be terminated. For one thing, appropriate notice must be given, depending on whether you have a lease or a periodic tenancy, such as a month-to-month agreement. In many cases, your landlord is also required to return your security deposit within 45 days after you move out, or give you an itemized list of lawful deductions within 30 days. Lastly, all landlords must follow strict rules for attempting to evict a tenant, including notice requirements and obtaining a court order.

Illinois Tenant Rights Laws at a Glance

The following chart provides a summary of Illinois state laws regarding the landlord-tenant relationship, including links to key statutes.

Statutes

Security Deposits

  • No statewide limits
  • Security deposit must be fully refunded within 45 days after tenant moves out (with interest in some cases) if complex has five or more units and tenant:
    • Doesn't owe any back rent
    • Hasn't damaged the unit
    • Cleaned the unit before moving
  • Landlord has 30 days to provide itemized statement of damages and receipts if refusing to refund all or part of the security deposit.
  • Part or all of security deposit may be used for:
    • Rent owed by tenant
    • Damages to rental beyond normal wear and tear

Paying Rent

  • May not raise rent during lease term (e.g. 1 year lease); may raise rent upon lease renewal
  • May raise rent during periodic rental agreement
    • Month-to-month: 30 days' notice
    • Week-to-week: 7 days' notice

Living Conditions

  • See local ordinance for landlord's right of access
  • Landlord must keep unit fit to live in, including making repairs in compliance with lease, law, local regulations, etc.
  • Tenant may make certain types of repairs and deduct cost from rent after giving landlord 14 days' notice (except in emergency); exceptions apply

Discrimination

  • No discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, or disability
  • No discrimination against tenants with children

Ending or Renewing a Tenancy

  • Landlord must give written notice to terminate the tenancy:
    • Month-to-month: 30 days
    • Year-to-year: 60 days
    • Lease: according to lease terms
    • Eviction: 5 days for failure to pay rent; 10 days for violating lease
  • Eviction: By court order only

Retaliation

  • Landlord may not retaliate against tenant for exercising tenant rights

Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Illinois Tenant Rights Laws: Related Resources

Get Help Defending Your Rights

Many tenants who don't know their rights think that they have to obey whatever terms and demands their landlords dictate. However, it can be difficult to know which laws apply to you and your circumstances. Whether you're facing minor issues or an eviction notice, receive a free case review today to get help protecting your Illinois tenant rights.

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