Illinois Landlord  Tenant Act, Section 15

1. Landlords must provide written documentation of the formula used to allocate utility cost if a tenant is paying a portion of the utilities or if several tenants are splitting the cost of the utility payment.

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2. Landlords are required to disclose any known hazard resulting from the existence of radon. It is not required that landlords test for radon, but if a test is performed and any presence is found, the tenant must be notified. 

 A bright yellow hazard sign over a hand-drawn house warns about radon testing.

3. Under a written, fixed-term lease, landlords may not raise the rent until after the lease expires. If there is no written lease, the landlord must notify tenants before the rent increase. 30 days of notice is required for month-to-month rentals and 7 days for week-to-week rentals.

A silver pen and a set of keys are laying on top of a lease agreement.

4. Landlords are not permitted to retaliate against tenants for exercising their legal rights or complaining to a governmental authority, including terminating the tenant’s lease or attempting to evict the tenant.

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5. If intending to terminate a lease, landlords must notify the tenant in writing. 60 days of notice is required for yearly leases, 30 days for monthly, and 7 days for weekly. It is not required that the reason for termination be disclosed.

A legal document describes the terms for the termination of a lease.

6. In order to evict a tenant, landlords must file a lawsuit.  Attempting to evict a tenant simply by turning off the utilities or changing the locks is not permitted. A written notice stating the reasons for eviction must also be given.

 A discouraged man sits on the curb with his belongings after being evicted from his home.

7. While it is not required of landlords, it is highly recommended that rental properties be cleaned between tenants to provide a clean living space for the incoming occupant and to set a standard of care the landlord would like the tenant to maintain. Hiring a professional cleaning service can be a good investment, saving time and providing a more thorough cleaning.

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8. If there are at least 25 units in a building or complex, the landlord of that property is required to pay interest to tenants on their security deposits when the deposits are held for more than 6 months. The interest must be paid within 30 days of the end of each 12-month rental period.

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9. There are no limits placed on the amount that a landlord is allowed to charge a tenant as a security deposit.

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10. Landlords must perform the necessary repairs for general wear and tear on their properties, and it is recommended that a walk-through be performed every few months to check living conditions and the state of the property. This should include surveying for leaks, rodents, obstructed exits, peeling paint, loose plaster, burnt out lights in common areas, or standing water in the yard.

A young man inspects the pipes beneath the white ceramic sink with tools in hand.

11. Landlords have the right to enter a tenant’s dwelling without notification in the case of an emergency or if other reasonable cause arises. Landlords are required to give reasonable notice if they intend to enter for routine maintenance or to make any necessary repairs or alterations.

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12. All units must be kept fit to live in by the landlord, which includes providing tenants with heat, running water, hot water, gas, plumbing, and electricity.

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13. A landlord maintains the right to evict a tenant for committing a Class X felony by way of written eviction notice, but the tenant’s security deposit must still be returned if there are no other grounds for withholding any or all of it due to property damages.

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14. Landlords in Cook County (most of Chicago) are required to change or rekey locks between every tenant on or before the new tenant moves in. If a landlord fails to do this, he or she will be held 100% financially liable for any break-ins or damage to the new tenant’s property resulting from the use of an old key. While it is not required to rekey between tenants if a property is outside of Cook County, it is still a strongly recommended practice for landlords as protection against liability.

15. Any rental concessions made by the landlord must be described in the lease in letters no smaller than one half inch in height.

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16. Landlords may not discriminate against tenants by refusing to rent or lease to a person due to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, or marital status. It is also against the law to discriminate against families with children when renting property.

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17. Landlords are permitted to choose between or deny a prospective tenant based on business criteria. A landlord should evaluate factors such as credit score, past rental behavior, and whether or not a tenant has sufficient income to maintain the rent payment. It is important that landlords remain consistent in choosing tenants to avoid potential claims of discrimination.  

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18. If a new landlord purchases a rental property, all previously existing leases remain valid. New owners are not permitted to evict tenants or prematurely terminate leases solely due to the change in ownership. A new landlord must notify a tenant of the ownership change within 10 days of the purchase.

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19. While it is not required, it is highly recommended that landlords perform walkthroughs of their rental properties before each tenant moves in. Documentation including pictures should be recorded so that there are no disputes later about the condition of the property. This helps protect landlords against potentially liability should a tenant attempt to make false claims about the state of the property at any given time.

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20. A landlord is not liable for any injuries a tenant might incur while on the rental property unless the injury was sustained due to negligence in maintaining the property on the part of the landlord.

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21. Landlords maintain the right to determine whether or not pets are allowed on rental properties. Should a pet be allowed on the property, landlords need to lay out specific guidelines for pet ownership and the owner’s responsibilities for the pet.

A black and white sign prohibits pets and contains the silhouette of a dog within a red circle with a cross through it.

For any landlord that wants to avoid potential liability and especially for landlords in Chicago, Mr. Rekey offers an easy, affordable solution to the rekeying requirements laid out in the Illinois Landlord & Tenant Act. As America’s Largest Residential Locksmith®, they have the experience necessary to provide high-quality service at a fair price with their Rekey Special® for property managers. This includes rekeying as many as 6 locks, cutting 4 new keys, installing SPAX® screws in the doorjambs for increased deadbolt strength, checking smoke alarms with real smoke, and even creating an organizational key system. Protect yourself from liability. Call Mr. Rekey today at (872) 205-0506 to make sure your properties are in compliance with Illinois property code.