Renters Rights in the Rest of Illinois
Tenants don't have a lot of rights in Illinois, but we have helped tenants outside of Chicago apply their rights under various state statutes which are presented here for convenience. Now, effective June 1, 2021, residential tenants all over most of Cook County will enjoy greater protections than anything you see here.
Outside Cook County for the rest of the state there is a Tenants' Right to Repair Act, but once you read it you won't bother, following its requirements is almost impossible and still does not guarantee a defense against eviction. The Safe Homes Act provides a legal basis to avoid a lease in cases of domestic or sexual violence, with a police report, and counseling. But victims of other kinds of violence, or racial threats, are not protected by that Act. Finally, the security deposit laws offer some help for tenants sometimes, if they rented at a large enough apartment building or complex. But currently Illinois legislators are working to amend the Security Deposit Interest Act so that even the small amount of interest earned on security deposits would not have to be paid to the tenant each 12 months unless it exceeded $5.00. At today's low rates, it never does. They still have to pay interest, no matter how little, after move out.
Illinois Security Deposit Return Act back to top
(765 ILCS 710/0.01) (from Ch. 80, par. 100)
Sec. 0.01. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Security Deposit Return Act.
(765 ILCS 710/1) (from Ch. 80, par. 101) AS AMENDED EFFECTIVE JULY, 2018
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a lessor of residential real property, containing 5 or more units, who has received a security deposit from a lessee to secure the payment of rent or to compensate for damage to the leased premises may not withhold any part of that deposit as reimbursement for property damage unless the lessor has, within 30 days of the date that the lessee vacated the leased premises, furnished to the lessee, by personal delivery, by postmarked mail directed to his or her last known address, or by electronic mail to a verified electronic mail address provided by the lessee, an itemized statement of the damage allegedly caused to the leased premises and the estimated or actual cost for repairing or replacing each item on that statement, attaching the paid receipts, or copies thereof, for the repair or replacement. If the lessor utilizes his or her own labor to repair or replace any damage or damaged items caused by the lessee, the lessor may include the reasonable cost of his or her labor to repair or replace such damage or damaged items. If estimated cost is given, the lessor shall furnish to the lessee, delivered in person or by postmarked mail directed to the last known address of the lessee or another address provided by the lessee, paid receipts, or copies thereof, within 30 days from the date the statement showing estimated cost was furnished to the lessee, as required by this Section. If a written lease specifies the cost for cleaning, repair, or replacement of any component of the leased premises or any component of the building or common areas that, if damaged, will not be replaced, the lessor may withhold the dollar amount specified in the lease. Costs specified in a written lease shall be for damage beyond normal wear and tear and reasonable to restore the leased premises to the same condition as at the time the lease began. The itemized statement shall reference the dollar amount specified in the written lease associated with the specific building component or amenity and include a copy of the applicable portion of the lease. Deductions for costs or values not specified in the lease shall otherwise comply with the requirements of this Section. If no such statement and receipts, or copies thereof, are furnished to the lessee as required by this Section, the lessor shall return the security deposit in full within 45 days of the date that the lessee vacated the premises, delivered in person or by postmarked mail directed to the last known address of the lessee or another address provided by the lessee. If the lessee fails to provide the lessor with a mailing address or electronic mail address, the lessor shall not be held liable for any damages or penalties as a result of the lessee’s failure to provide an address.
(b) If, through no fault of the lessor, the lessor is unable to produce as required in subsection (a) receipts for repairs or replacements, or copies thereof, then the lessor shall produce an itemized list of the cost of repair or replacement, any other evidence the lessor has of the cost, and a verified statement of the lessor or the agent of the lessor detailing the specific reasons why the lessor is unable to produce the required receipts or copies and verifying that the lessor has provided all other evidence the lessor has of the cost.
(c) Upon a finding by a circuit court that a lessor has refused to supply the itemized statement required by this Section, or has supplied such statement in bad faith, and has failed or refused to return the amount of the security deposit due within the time limits provided, the lessor shall be liable for an amount equal to twice the amount of the security deposit due, together with court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
(765 ILCS 710/1.1) (from Ch. 80, par. 101.1)
Sec. 1.1. In the event of a sale, lease, transfer or other direct or indirect disposition of residential real property, other than to the holder of a lien interest in such property, by a lessor who has received a security deposit or prepaid rent from a lessee, the transferee of such property shall be liable to that lessee for any security deposit, including statutory interest, or prepaid rent which the lessee has paid to the transferor. Transferor shall remain jointly and severally liable with the transferee to the lessee for such security deposit or prepaid rent.
(765 ILCS 710/1.2)
Sec. 1.2. Security deposit transfer. Notwithstanding Section 1.1, when a lessor transfers actual possession of a security deposit received from a lessee, including any statutory interest that has not been paid to a lessee, to a holder of the certificate of sale or deed issued pursuant to that certificate or, if no certificate or deed was issued, the purchaser of a foreclosed property under Article XV of the Code of Civil Procedure, the holder or purchaser shall be liable to a lessee for the transferred security deposit, including any statutory interest that has not been paid to the lessee, as provided in this Act. Within 21 days after the transfer of the security deposits and receipt of the name and address of any lessee who paid a deposit, the holder or purchaser shall post a written notice on the primary entrance of each dwelling unit at the property with respect to which the holder or purchaser has acquired actual possession of a security deposit. The written notice shall state that the holder or purchaser has acquired the security deposit paid by the lessee in connection with the lessee's rental of that dwelling unit.
(765 ILCS 710/2) (from Ch. 80, par. 102)
Sec. 2. This Act takes effect January 1, 1974 and applies to leases executed on or after that date.
Illinois Security Deposit Interest Act back to top
(765 ILCS 715/0.01) (from Ch. 80, par. 120)
Sec. 0.01. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Security Deposit Interest Act.
(765 ILCS 715/1) (from Ch. 80, par. 121)
Sec. 1. A lessor of residential real property, containing 25 or more units in either a single building or a complex of buildings located on contiguous parcels of real property, who receives a security deposit from a lessee to secure the payment of rent or compensation for damage to property shall pay interest to the lessee computed from the date of the deposit at a rate equal to the interest paid by the largest commercial bank, as measured by total assets, having its main banking premises in this State on minimum deposit passbook savings accounts as of December 31 of the calendar year immediately preceding the inception of the rental agreement on any deposit held by the lessor for more than 6 months.
(765 ILCS 715/2) (from Ch. 80, par. 122) AS AMENDED EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2016
Sec. 2. The lessor shall, within 30 days after the end of each 12 month rental period, pay to the lessee any interest that has accumulated to an amount of $5 or more, by cash or credit to be applied to rent due, except when the lessee is in default under the terms of the lease. The lessor shall pay all interest that has accumulated and remains unpaid, regardless of the amount, upon termination of the tenancy.
A lessor who willfully fails or refuses to pay the interest required by this Act shall, upon a finding by a circuit court that he has willfully failed or refused to pay, be liable for an amount equal to the amount of the security deposit, together with court costs and reasonable attorneys fees.
Illinois Safe Homes Act back to top
(765 ILCS 750/1)
Sec. 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Safe Homes Act.
(765 ILCS 750/5)
Sec. 5. Purpose. The purpose of this Act is to promote the State's interest in reducing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking by enabling victims of domestic or sexual violence and their families to flee existing dangerous housing in order to leave violent or abusive situations, achieve safety, and minimize the physical and emotional injuries from domestic or sexual violence, and to reduce the devastating economic consequences thereof.
(765 ILCS 750/10)
Sec. 10. Definitions. For purposes of this Act:
"Domestic violence" means "abuse" as defined in Section 103 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 by a "family or household member" as defined in Section 103 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986.
"Landlord" means the owner of a building or the owner's agent with regard to matters concerning landlord's leasing of a dwelling.
"Sexual violence" means any act of sexual assault, sexual abuse, or stalking of an adult or minor child, including but not limited to non-consensual sexual conduct or non-consensual sexual penetration as defined in the Civil No Contact Order Act and the offenses of stalking, aggravated stalking, criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, criminal sexual abuse, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse as those offenses are described in the Criminal Code of 2012.
"Tenant" means a person who has entered into an oral or written lease with a landlord whereby the person is the lessee under the lease.
(765 ILCS 750/15)
Sec. 15. Affirmative defense.
(a) In any action brought by a landlord against a tenant to recover rent for breach of lease, a tenant shall have an affirmative defense and not be liable for rent for the period after which a tenant vacates the premises owned by the landlord, if by preponderance of the evidence, the court finds that:
(1) at the time that the tenant vacated the premises, the tenant or a member of tenant's household was under a credible imminent threat of domestic or sexual violence at the premises; and
(2) the tenant gave written notice to the landlord prior to or within 3 days of vacating the premises that the reason for vacating the premises was because of a credible imminent threat of domestic or sexual violence against the tenant or a member of the tenant's household.
(b) In any action brought by a landlord against a tenant to recover rent for breach of lease, a tenant shall have an affirmative defense and not be liable for rent for the period after which the tenant vacates the premises owned by the landlord, if by preponderance of the evidence, the court finds that:
(1) a tenant or a member of tenant's household was a victim of sexual violence on the premises that is owned or controlled by a landlord and the tenant has vacated the premises as a result of the sexual violence; and
(2) the tenant gave written notice to the landlord prior to or within 3 days of vacating the premises that the reason for vacating the premises was because of the sexual violence against the tenant or member of the tenant's household, the date of the sexual violence, and that the tenant provided at least one form of the following types of evidence to the landlord supporting the claim of the sexual violence: medical, court or police evidence of sexual violence; or statement from an employee of a victim services or rape crisis organization from which the tenant or a member of the tenant's household sought services; and
(3) the sexual violence occurred not more than 60 days prior to the date of giving the written notice to the landlord, or if the circumstances are such that the tenant cannot reasonably give notice because of reasons related to the sexual violence, such as hospitalization or seeking assistance for shelter or counseling, then as soon thereafter as practicable. Nothing in this subsection (b) shall be construed to be a defense against an action in forcible entry and detainer for failure to pay rent before the tenant provided notice and vacated the premises.
(c) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to be a defense against an action for rent for a period of time before the tenant vacated the landlord's premises and gave notice to the landlord as required in subsection (b).
(Source: P.A. 94-1038, eff. 1-1-07.)
Illinois Residential Tenants' Right to Repair Act back to top
(765 ILCS 742/1)
Sec. 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Residential Tenants' Right to Repair Act.
(765 ILCS 742/5)
Sec. 5. Repair; deduction from rent. If a repair is required under a residential lease agreement or required under a law, administrative rule, or local ordinance or regulation, and the reasonable cost of the repair does not exceed the lesser of $500 or one-half of the monthly rent, the tenant may notify the landlord in writing by registered or certified mail or other restricted delivery service to the address of the landlord or an agent of the landlord as indicated on the lease agreement; if an address is not listed, the tenant may send notice to the landlord's last known address of the tenant's intention to have the repair made at the landlord's expense. If the landlord fails to make the repair within 14 days after being notified by the tenant as provided above or more promptly as conditions require in the case of an emergency, the tenant may have the repair made in a workmanlike manner and in compliance with the appropriate law, administrative rule, or local ordinance or regulation. Emergencies include conditions that will cause irreparable harm to the apartment or any fixture attached to the apartment if not immediately repaired or any condition that poses an immediate threat to the health or safety of any occupant of the dwelling or any common area. After submitting to the landlord a paid bill from an appropriate tradesman or supplier unrelated to the tenant, the tenant may deduct from his or her rent the amount of the bill, not to exceed the limits specified by this Section and not to exceed the reasonable price then customarily charged for the repair. If not clearly indicated on the bill submitted by the tenant, the tenant shall also provide to the landlord in writing, at the time of the submission of the bill, the name, address, and telephone number for the tradesman or supplier that provided the repair services. A tenant may not repair at the landlord's expense if the condition was caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, a member of the tenant's family, or another person on the premises with the tenant's consent.
(765 ILCS 742/10)
Sec. 10. Exceptions.
(a) This Act does not apply to public housing as defined in Section 3(b) of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended from time to time, and any successor Act.
(b) This Act does not apply to condominiums.
(c) This Act does not apply to not-for-profit corporations organized for the purpose of residential cooperative housing.
(d) This Act does not apply to tenancies other than residential tenancies.
(e) This Act does not apply to owner-occupied rental property containing 6 or fewer dwelling units.
(f) This Act does not apply to any dwelling unit that is subject to the Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Rights Act.
(765 ILCS 742/15)
Sec. 15. Tenant liabilities and responsibilities. The tenant is responsible for ensuring that:
(1) the repairs are performed in a workmanlike manner
in compliance with the appropriate law, administrative rule, or local ordinance or regulation;
(2) the tradesman or supplier that is hired by the tenant to perform the repairs holds the appropriate valid license or certificate required by State or municipal law to make the repair; and
(3) the tradesman or supplier is adequately insuredto cover any bodily harm or property damage that is caused by the negligence or substandard performance of the repairs by the tradesman or supplier. The tenant is responsible for any damages to the premises caused by a tradesman or supplier hired by the tenant. A tenant shall not be entitled to exercise the remedies provided for in this Act if the tenant does not comply with the requirements of this Section.
(765 ILCS 742/20)
Sec. 20. Defense to eviction. A tenant may not assert as a defense to an action for rent or eviction that rent was withheld under this Act unless the tenant meets all the requirements provided for in this Act.
(765 ILCS 742/25)
Sec. 25. Mechanics lien laws. For purposes of mechanics lien laws, repairs performed or materials furnished pursuant to this Act shall not be construed as having been performed or furnished pursuant to authority of or with permission of the landlord.
(765 ILCS 742/30)
Sec. 30. Home rule. A home rule unit may not regulate residential lease agreements in a manner that diminishes the rights of tenants under this Act. This Section is a limitation under subsection (i) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution on the concurrent exercise by home rule units of powers and functions exercised by the State.
765 ILCS 705/15 Change of Locks back to top
(a) A lessor of a dwelling unit shall comply with the provisions of this Section regarding the changing or rekeying of the dwelling unit lock. For the purposes of this Section, "dwelling unit" means a room or suite of rooms used for human habitation and for which a lessor and a lessee have a written lease agreement.
(b) After a dwelling unit has been vacated and on or before the day that a new lessee takes possession of the dwelling unit, the lessor shall change or rekey the immediate access to the lessee's individual dwelling unit. For the purposes of this Section, "change or rekey" means:
(1) replacing the lock;
(2) replacing the locking or cylinder mechanism in the lock so that a different key is used to unlock the lock;
(3) changing the combination on a combination or digital lock;
(4) changing an electronic lock so that the means or method of unlocking the lock is changed from the immediately prior tenant; or
(5) otherwise changing the means of gaining access to the lessee's locked individual dwelling unit so that it is not identical to the prior lessee's means of gaining access to the lessee's locked individual dwelling unit.
(c) If a lessor does not change or rekey the lock as required in this Section, and a theft occurs at that dwelling unit that is attributable to the lessor's failure to change or rekey the lock, the landlord is liable for any damages from the theft that occurs as a result of the lessor's failure to comply with this Section.
(d) The provisions of this Section do not apply if the lessee has obtained the right to change or rekey the dwelling unit lock pursuant to a written lease agreement.
(e) The provisions of this Section do not apply to (i) an apartment rental in an apartment building with 4 units or less when one of the units is occupied by the owner or (ii) the rental of a room in a private home that is owner-occupied.
(f) This Section applies only in counties having a population of more than 3,000,000.
Illinois Security Deposit Interest Rates:
Interest rate announced first business day in 2021 0.01 %
Interest rate announced first business day in 2020 0.01 %
Interest rate announced first business day in 2019 0.01 %
Interest rate announced first business day in 2018 0.01 %
Interest rate announced first business day in 2017 0.01 %
Interest rate announced first business day in 2016 0.05 %
Interest rate announced first business day in 2015 0.005%
Interest rate announced first business day in 2014 0.005%
Interest rate announced first business day in 2013 0.005%
Interest rate announced first business day in 2012 0.005%
Interest rate announced first business day in 2011 0.195%
Interest rate announced first business day in 2010 0.095%
Interest rate announced first business day in 2009 0.25 %
Interest rate announced first business day in 2008 0.35 %