A security deposit is money you (the "tenant") pay to a landlord to cover damage or cleaning of rental property. However, a landlord can't keep the security deposit to cover normal wear and tear. Landlords may also request additional deposit for pets or other situations that may be considered a risk for the landlord. Most state laws have limits on the amount that may be required and deadlines for returning those deposits after a tenant moves out.
How Large of a Security Deposit Can an Illinois Landlord Require?
There's no limit on the amount that a landlord may charge as a security deposit in Illinois, even in subsidized housing situations. Some landlords charge two deposits: one in case of damages and the other as an advance payment on the last month's rent. Landlords also may charge a deposit for keys or if you have pets. Keep in mind, some cities or towns in the state of Illinois may have more protections through local city ordinances.
Security Deposit Returns
For properties with five or more units, a landlord must return the tenant's security deposit within 30 to 45 days after the tenant moves out -- depending on whether the tenant disputes deductions taken out of the security deposit or if an itemized statement and receipts are provided by the landlord. If your landlord won't return your deposit and you think the money is owed to you, you can file a suit in Illinois small claims court or speak to an attorney.
Illinois Security Deposit Limits and Return Deadlines at a Glance
State codes are notoriously dense and often difficult for the lay person to understand. The following table highlights the main provisions of Illinois security deposit laws, written in an easy to understand format.
|Statute||Illinois Compiled Statutes: Chapter 765, Section 710/1, et seq.|
|Security Deposit Minimum||
|Security Deposit Maximum||
|Nonrefundable?||Maybe, depends on factors such as whether or not you signed an agreement to that effect.|
|What Can A Landlord Deduct?||Unpaid rent, damage in excess of normal wear and tear, and cleaning costs to return the unit back to a move-in ready condition.|
|How Long For Return of Security Deposit?||
A landlord must return the tenant's security deposit within 30 days after the tenant has surrendered the rental property to the landlord (that is, returned the keys and vacated the property). If you live in a building with less than four units or an owner-owned condominium, the landlord should return the deposit "within a reasonable time."
Note: State laws 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.
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Illinois Security Deposit Limit Laws: Related Resources
Questions About Illinois Security Deposit Limits? Call an Attorney
If your landlord is requiring a suspiciously high amount for a security deposit or you've waited too long for its return after moving out, you may have a valid claim. It's often in your best interests to consult with a legal professional, who can explain your options and will help protect your rights. Get started today and contact an Illinois landlord-tenant law attorney near you.
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