As a landlord in Illinois, it’s essential to be well-versed in the landlord-tenant law of the state. This allows you to know your rights and responsibilities, as well as the rights and responsibilities of your renters. By knowing the law, you’ll be able to stay compliant to avoid legal problems in the future. The following is an overview of the state’s landlord-tenant laws:
Recommended Disclosures Landlords Should Make in Illinois
Under Illinois law, landlords are required to disclose certain information to tenants. Consider the following disclosures:
Non-refundable fees are optional disclosures. However, it’s recommended to include any non-refundable charges in the lease agreement to avoid problems later on. Failure to disclose a non-refundable fee may allow tenants to demand a refund by the end of the tenancy.
Rights of Domestic Violence Victims
Illinois tenants who are victims of domestic violence are provided with special rental provisions for their protection. Landlords must clearly indicate in the lease that domestic violence victims may seek to terminate the agreement early without penalty.
There is no statute about the security deposit disclosure rules in Illinois. However, Illinois landlords who rent out five or more units should provide a written notice to the tenant if they make deductions for repairs. A written statement of deductions must be included. This rule does not apply to landlords who rent out four units or fewer.
Owner or Agent Identity
The landlords’ names and addresses, as well as those of their authorized representatives, are considered optional disclosures. However, to create a smooth line of communication between landlords and tenants, it’s recommended that landlords or property managers provide their names and contact details within or alongside the agreement.
While also an optional disclosure, a move-in checklist is essential because it will hold the tenant accountable for future damages that they may cause on the premises.
Illinois Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
The following are the basic rights of Illinois renters. A tenant has the right to:
- Seek fair and habitable housing
- Not be evicted in retaliation for exercising their rights
- Receive their security deposit (or what remains thereof) within 30 days of move-out
- Request repairs and expect repairs to be made within 14 days
- Break the lease early due to justifiable reasons
- Withhold rent for failure to provide essential services
- Make the necessary repairs and deduct the cost from future rental payments
Here are the basic responsibilities of tenants in Illinois:
- Pay the rent on time
- Keep the unit clean and prevent any forms of damage that are not part of normal wear and tear
- Remove any hazards
- Keep the unit safe for occupancy
- Perform minor repairs and maintenance
- Not disturb the neighbors
Illinois Landlord Rights and Responsibilities
- The following are the basic landlord rights in the state of Illinois:
- Receive rent payments on time
- Evict tenants who violate the terms of the lease
- Charge tenants for damages outside normal wear and tear
- Hold tenants liable for breaking a lease without justifiable reasons
- Increase the rent as long as it’s not during the terms of the lease
- Charge late payment fees
The following are the basic landlord responsibilities in the state of Illinois. Landlords must:
- Comply with all health and building codes that apply to the rental property
- Provide a habitable dwelling place
- Make requested repairs within 14 days
An Overview of the Landlord-Tenant Laws in Illinois
Consider the following pertaining to the state’s landlord-tenant laws:
Tenant’s Right to Privacy
Illinois law has no provisions about landlords’ right to entry. However, in Chicago, landlords must give at least two days of notice before entering the property.
Fair Housing Laws
The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on national origin, race, color, sex, familial status, religion, or disability. Illinois provides extra provisions to protect individuals against discrimination on the basis of their age, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, military status, and domestic violence history.
In Illinois, the law does not explicitly list the amenities landlords are responsible for. That said, landlords are required to provide a habitable property, one that is safe, sanitary, and fit for occupancy.
Security Deposit Laws
Illinois landlords are allowed to charge security deposits and there is no maximum limit to how much they can charge. The allowable deductions include:
- Unpaid rent and utilities
- Costs of damage outside normal wear and tear
- Costs due to breach of lease
- Charges outlined in the lease
If there are deductions, landlords should return the remaining security deposit within 30 days. A list of itemized deductions is required if the landlord rents out more than four units. However, if there are no deductions, the deposit must be returned within 45 days.
Mandatory Landlord Disclosures
These disclosures should be in writing, usually printed in the lease agreement. The disclosures are as follows:
- Radon Hazard Disclosure
- Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Smoke Detector
- Shared Utility Arrangements
- Concession Granted
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure
Tenant’s Right to Withhold Rental Payments
Under Illinois law, landlords are required to address requested repairs within 14 days. Otherwise, renters may choose to withhold rent for failure to provide essential services or make the necessary repairs and deduct the cost from future rent payments.
As a landlord, it’s crucial to be aware of the local and state laws to ensure that you remain in compliance always. If you have more questions, reach out to Keyrenter Property Management Northwest Chicago and we’ll be happy to assist you!
Disclaimer: This blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Laws change, and this post might not be updated at the time of your reading. Please contact us for any questions you have in regards to this content or any other aspect of your property management needs.