Chicago Residential Landlord & Tenant Ordinance
Section 5-12-040 Tenant Responsibilities
Every tenant must:
(a) Comply with all obligations imposed specifically upon tenants by provisions of the municipal code applicable to dwelling units;
(b) Keep that part of the premises that he occupies and uses as safe as the condition of the premises permits;
(c) Dispose of all ashes, rubbish, garbage and other waste from his dwelling unit in a clean and safe manner;
(d) Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the tenant as clean as their condition permits;
(e) Use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, in the premises;
(f) Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the premises or knowingly permit any person on the premises with his consent to do so; and
(g) Conduct himself and require other persons on the premises with his consent to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb his neighbors' peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
This section of the Chicago Municipal Code describes what tenants are required to do; and not do.
It is notable that tenants' responsibilities to maintain the property are limited to as much "as their condition permits." This constitutes an acknowledgement by the City Council that some properties rented to Chicago tenants are not turned over in pristine condition. Tenants are not expected to improve the condition of rental property they inhabit.
Nevertheless, after move-out, many landlords attempt to charge tenants for repairs that needed attention before the tenant moved in. This is an abuse of RLTO 040 in this attorney's opinion.
It goes without saying that damaging a landlord's property on purpose is unlawful.