From signing leases to breaking them, learn the important Illinois landlord tenant laws here with our full guide to the Illinois Landlord Tenant Act.
IL Landlord Tenant Law:
If you have any questions or need legal advice, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.
The landlord can ask prospective tenants for application fees to cover the costs of background and credit checks. The fee amount should be reasonable - We recommend charging $25 to $30 per applicant. If the landlord did not run any tenant screening checks, the fees should be refunded.
If a prospective tenant is accepted and moves in, this application fee cannot be used as part of the security deposit.
If a prospective tenant is accepted but chooses NOT to move in, the landlord has to return what's left of the application fee (if any). In this case, the tenant is responsible for the landlord's cost of finding a replacement tenant (which includes lost rent during this period).
A background check will show a person's history of addresses, evictions, bankruptcies, judgments and liens.
A full credit report comes with a basic background check, credit check plus criminal check. A basic background check shows a person's history of addresses, evictions and bankruptcies.
Landlords do not need the tenant or applicant's consent to run background and credit checks. Fair Credit Reporting Act § 604(a)(3)(F)
The Fair Housing Act disallows landlords from discriminating against prospective renters based on their race, color, religion, sex, *familial status, national origin or physical/mental handicap. 42 U.S.C. § 3604
*Familial status - pregnant women and families with person(s) under 18.
In addition, Illinois landlord tenant law disallows landlords from discriminating someone as a renter because of his or her age (40 years or older), ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, arrest record or whether he or she is a victim of domestic violence. 775 ILCS 5/3-102.1(C)
However if the dwelling has four or less rental units and the landlord lives in one of them, then he or she won't have to follow the above Fair Housing laws. 42 U.S.C. § 3603(b)
(also known as a lease agreement or rental agreement)
Whether you're a landlord or tenant, it's important to have a written lease agreement with terms and conditions that favors you and follows your state laws.
To save time and avoid mistakes, you can customize your own lease agreement at LawDepot. This site will ask you a set of questions related to your tenancy and create a state-specific agreement based on your answers.
If you are renting the property for one year or less, your tenancy agreement can be verbal or written. If you are renting for more than one year, your lease agreement must be in writing.
Illinois landlord tenant law requires all tenancy agreements to contain the following details:
There are no Illinois landlord tenant statutes prohibiting certain terms and conditions in the rental agreement.
We recommend that your rental agreement should NOT:
Illinois landlord tenant law does not limit the maximum amount of security deposit that the landlord can ask (as long as the tenant is agreeable).
The landlord does not have to pay the tenant deposit interest unless the landlord owns 25 or more rental units AND the deposit is held for six months or longer. The landlord shall pay interest equal to savings account interest rate of the largest commercial bank. The landlord shall pay the tenant interest every 12 months as long as the interest adds up to $5 or more. 765 ILCS 715/1, 715/2
There are no Illinois landlord tenant laws on security deposit holding methods or other deposits (e.g. pet deposit, nonrefundable deposit).
Illinois landlord tenant law requires the landlord to inform the tenant of the terms and conditions for security deposit deductions.
Valid reasons for security deposit deductions include:
The landlord is NOT allowed to take money from the security deposit due to damage from *normal wear and tear. *Normal wear and tear is the natural deterioration of the property (and its contents) from normal everyday use.
Once the lease terminates and the tenant returns the property, the landlord must send the tenant a list of deductions and refund and remaining deposit within 30 days. This list has to individually account for all damages and rent owed in writing and contain all receipts involved in the costs of any repairs and replacements.
If there is no deduction, the landlord has to return the full deposit to the tenant in person or by postmarked mail within 45 days (of the tenant vacating the property). 765 ILCS 710/1.(a)
If the landlord fails to follow Illinois landlord tenant law for deducting and returning security deposit, the tenant can recover up to two times the amount of security deposit PLUS court costs and attorney's fees. 765 ILCS 710/1.(c)
Once the property ownership is transferred, the new owner will be responsible for refunding any security deposit, prepaid rent, and interest to the tenant (at the end of the tenancy). Therefore the new owner should make sure that the previous owner transfers all security deposits and prepaid rents along with the property. 765 ILCS 710/1.1, 710/1.2
The previous owner is no longer responsible for the tenancy once ALL three conditions are met:
Chicago, Illinois IL
There are no Illinois landlord tenant laws on the time, place and method of rent payment.
If the tenant is late in paying rent for five days or more, the landlord may impose late fees amounting to 20% of the monthly rent. 770 ILCS 95/7.10
The landlord has to inform the tenant 30 days (in writing) in advance before he or she can increase the rent or change another term of a month-to-month agreement. For a week to week tenancy, the landlord has to inform the tenant of a rent increase 7 days in advance.
We recommend that the landlord and tenant include these additional details in the rental agreement:
There are no Illinois landlord tenant laws stating the landlord's responsibilities or the tenant's duties in keeping the property clean and safe.
Under the Residential Tenants' Right to Repair Act 765 ILCS 742/5, the tenant can make repairs and deduct the cost from rent if the repair costs are $500 or less.
First the tenant has to inform the landlord in writing of his or her intention to make repairs (at the landlord's expense). If the landlord fails to make repairs within 14 days, the tenant may proceed to make repairs and deduct the costs from next month's rent. This 14 day notice can be shortened if the property's condition is endangering the tenant's health and safety.
If the landlord fails to provide an essential service (such as heat, water, electricity, plumbing or sanitation) that has been agreed upon in the rental agreement, the tenant has two choices:
1. The tenant can terminate the lease
The tenant can send a written notice to quit to the landlord and move out. This does not clear the landlord or tenant of liabilities incurred during the tenancy.
2. The tenant can pay the bills and deduct the cost from rent
If utility services were cut off because the landlord failed to pay the bills, the tenant can pay the utility bill(s) and deduct the cost from the rent. 765 ILCS 735/1
The tenant can register future utility bills under his or name by taking the following actions:
Once the tenant has done all of the above, the tenant can pay utility bills and deduct the costs from the rent in the future.
The landlord is not allowed to disrupt or terminate utility services except for emergencies and building repairs. If a temporary disruption is required, the landlord has to inform all affected tenants (in writing) seven days in advance.
If the landlord fails to follow Illinois landlord tenant law for disrupting utilities, the tenant won't have to pay rent for that month.
There are no Illinois landlord tenant statutes on when and how the landlord can enter the property.
There are no specific Illinois landlord tenant laws on subletting.
Rockford, Illinois IL
Illinois landlord tenant law 735 ILCS 5/9-207.(a) requires you to give the other party a written notice to quit before terminating a tenancy:
Week to week tenancy
Month to month tenancy
Year to year tenancy
If you are the tenant, the following are the minimum number of days for giving your landlord a notice to quit:
Tenant or dependent is a victim of domestic abuse
Tenant is deployed in the armed forces
If the tenant or tenant's dependent is a victim of family violence or sexual assault, the tenant can terminate the tenancy (without penalty) by giving the landlord a written 30 day notice to quit. 765 ILCS 750
This notice must include a statement (under oath or affirmation) that the tenant or tenant's dependent is a victim of domestic abuse PLUS a police, court or government record describing the domestic violence suffered by the tenant or tenant's dependent.
If a tenant serving in the military (for at least 30 consecutive days) is deployed to another location for 90 days or more, he or she can terminate the tenancy (without penalty) by giving the landlord a written notice to quit PLUS a copy of the deployment orders 765 ILCS 705/16.(a),(b),(c)
If the tenant pays the rent in monthly intervals, the tenancy shall terminate 30 days after the due date of next month's rent. Otherwise the tenancy shall terminate 30 days after the notice is delivered to the landlord.
All remaining security deposit and prepaid rents must be returned to the tenant. 765 ILCS 705/16.(d)
If you are the tenant, your notice must contain the following:
If you are the landlord, your notice must ALSO contain the following:
The tenant can deliver the notice to the landlord in person or mail it to the address where the rent is paid.
The landlord can serve the notice to the tenant in the following ways:
According to Illinois landlord tenant law, the following are valid reasons for evicting tenants and the minimum number of days for giving them a notice to quit:
Tenant did not pay rent
Tenant violated tenancy agreement or didn't perform duties
Tenant produced, used, sold or stored controlled substances on property
Whether you are a landlord evicting someone or a tenant facing eviction, it's important that you handle matters correctly according to your state laws.
If you have any questions or doubts on eviction, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.
If the tenant did not pay rent on time, the landlord can send the tenant a 5 day written notice to terminate the tenancy. If the rent is fully paid within 5 days, the tenant may stay. 735 ILCS 5/9-209
This notice must state the amount of rent owed and inform the tenant that he or she can choose to pay the full amount or move out. It also has to include the following:
"Only FULL PAYMENT of the rent demanded in this notice will waive the landlord's right to terminate the lease under this notice, unless the landlord agrees in writing to continue the lease in exchange for receiving partial payment."
If the notice does not include the above statement, the tenant may continue staying after paying part of the rent.
If the tenant violates the tenancy agreement in a *significant manner, the landlord can send the tenant a 10 day written notice to terminate the tenancy. *Significant manner refers to situations that affects human health and safety. 735 ILCS 5/9-210
This written notice has to state what is the tenant's violation or failure in duty. The landlord does not need to give the tenant time to correct the problem and may proceed to file an eviction suit if the tenant does not move out within 10 days.
If the tenant produced, used, sold or stored controlled substances on the rental property, the landlord can send a 5 day written notice to terminate the tenancy. 740 ILCS 40/11
Also known as "Notice of Termination of Tenancy" or "Notice to Quit", Illinois landlord tenant law 735 ILCS 5/9-211 requires all eviction notices to contain the following:
If Illinois landlord tenant law allows the tenant to avoid eviction by correcting the problem(s), the eviction notice must also contain:
The landlord can serve an eviction notice to the tenant with any following method:
There are no specific Illinois landlord tenant laws on abandonment of property by the tenant.
If the tenant abandoned the property, the landlord may seize any crops grown on the property (even if the tenant has paid the rent). The landlord may dispose or sell the seized crops after they mature. The landlord can use the revenue from selling crops to pay for any rent owed and crop-related expenses. 735 ILCS 5/9-316
Tenant can recover the seized crops by paying the landlord any rent owed and crop-related expenses.
Illinois Landlord Tenant Law: Illinois Landlord and Tenant Act
Illinois Landlord Tenant Handbook: Illinois Housing Handbook
If you have any questions or need legal advice, you can ask a local landlord tenant lawyer online.