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State Laws

Illinois Landlord Tenant Laws

January 17, 2023

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Quick Facts

Required Disclosures  

Lead-based paint 
Radon  
Shared utilities  
Smoke detectors  
Carbon monoxide detectors  
Rent concessions   
  
Rent and Fees  

Application Fee Limit: N/A  
Rent Control: N/A  
Late Fee Limit: N/A  
Grace Period Minimum: None  
  
Security Deposits  

Amount Limit: N/A  
Interest: Yes  
Return Within: 30 days  
 
 Entry  

Notice: N/A  
Permitted times of entry: N/A
Fair Housing Protections  
Race 
Color  
National origin  
Religion  
Sex  
Familial status  
Disability   
    
Evictions  

Rent Demand Notice: 5 day pay-or-quit notice 
Notice for Lease Violation: 10 days 
Unconditional Quit Notice: 5 days 
  
Other Laws  

Non-renewals: 60- or 120-days’ notice
to terminate leases longer than six months
or three years, respectively  

Illinois Landlord-Tenant Law 

Understand the essential landlord-tenant laws in Illinois before enforcing your own rental policies and procedures. Find more information by examining the Illinois state law code.  

Required Disclosures 

Lead-based paint  

(Title X, Section 1018

Landlords in all 50 states must include information about lead-based paint hazards in the rental agreements for most properties built before 1978. Sellers and landlords must distribute an EPA-approved information pamphlet called “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” and disclose any known lead hazards in the property. These obligations were established by Section 1018 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. 

Radon Hazards 

(420 ILCS § 46/25)  

Illinois landlords are required to disclose the existence of radon hazards to tenants in all lease agreements for units located below the third story above ground level. If radon has been detected in the unit, the landlord must disclose this in writing to prospective tenants.  

Smoke Detectors 

(425 ILCS § 60/3(d)

Landlords in Illinois must provide a written notice with information about smoke detector testing and maintenance to at least one tenant per unit. 

Carbon Monoxide Detectors 

(430 ILCS § 135/10(c)

Landlords in Illinois must provide a written notice with information about carbon monoxide alarm testing and maintenance to at least one tenant per unit. 

Rent Concession 

(765 ILCS § 730/3

The Rent Concession Act regulates concessions landlords may offer on rent or policies that may be misleading to a potential renter. If a landlord in Illinois offers a rent concession, they must provide a clearly legible notice, in letters one-half inch high or taller, stating “Concession Granted” with the amount, extent, and nature of each concession. 

Shared Utilities 

(765 ILCS § 740/5(a)

If utility costs are shared among tenants, Illinois landlords must include a written copy of the formula the landlord uses to allocate the public utility payments among tenants. This copy must be provided either in the lease or another written agreement. 

Rent and Fees 

  • Rent Due Date: Rent in Illinois is due when stated in the lease agreement. If the landlord’s property consists of 100 or more residential units, and the landlord maintains a business office on the premises with regular hours, they must accept rent payments there during office hours without penalty (735 ILCS § 5/9-218(a)). 
  • Application Fees: Rental application fees are not regulated in Illinois.  
  • Rent Increases: There is no state-wide rent control in Illinois.  
  • Late Fees: Late fees for residential leases are not regulated in Illinois. However, Illinois courts are more likely to uphold reasonable late fees that compensate the landlord for actual damages caused by the late payment. 
  • Grace Period: There is no required grace period in Illinois. 
  • NSF/Bounced Check Fee Maximum: If the tenant’s rent check bounces, the landlord may charge a returned check fee of $25 (810 ILCS § 5/3-806). 
  • Withholding Rent/Repair and Deduct: If an Illinois landlord fails to make a repair required by law or under the lease, and the repair costs less than $500 or one-half of the monthly rent, the tenant may send a written notice to the landlord. If the landlord does not make the repair within 14 days, the tenant may make the repair, submit a paid bill from the contractor, and deduct the amount from their rent. The tenant must also include the name, address, and phone number of the contractor or tradesman who provided the service. Additionally, the tenant cannot use the repair-and-deduct right when the condition was caused by the tenant (765 ILCS § 742/5). 

Security Deposits 

  • Deposit Limit: There is no limit on security deposit amounts in Illinois. 
  • Interest: Landlords must pay interest on security deposits and keep them in interest-bearing accounts. This law applies when the property contains 25 units or more and the deposits are held for longer than six months. The interest rate should equal the interest paid by the largest commercial bank in the state (765 ILCS § 715/1). 
  • Return Within: 30 days if the property contains five or more units (765 ILCS § 710/1(a)). 
  • Deposit Location: Landlords must keep security deposits separate from other funds in an interest-bearing account for properties with 25 units or more or tenancies longer than six months (765 ILCS § 715/1). 
  • Withholding: Illinois landlords may withhold funds from the security deposit for damage beyond normal wear and tear or for reasonable costs necessary to restore the property to its original condition. They must also provide an itemized statement of the damage allegedly caused to the property and the cost of repairs, with copies of all receipts (765 ILCS § 710/1(a)). 

Tenant Screening and Fair Housing Protections 

Protected Classes 

  • Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, and disability (Title 24 USC § 3601-3607). Illinois state law adds protections for age, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, military status, domestic violence victims (order of protection status), and pregnancy (775 ILCS § 5/1-102(A)). 

Credit Reports 

  • Illinois landlords are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which outlines the responsibilities of landlords to protect tenant credit information. According to the Act, landlords may not share tenant credit information with anyone without a legal reason to view it. They must also investigate disputed information, dispose of credit reports after use in tenant screening, and notify applicants when their credit score or history was the reason for their denial. See the federal law code (15 USC § 1681) for the Fair Credit Reporting Act full text.   

Criminal Histories 

  • Criminal background checks may be used during tenant screening in Illinois. Landlords may refuse to lease a property if the criminal background check reveals felony convictions, indicates that the applicant is a registered sex offender, or proves that the applicant’s tenancy would threaten the health, safety, or property of others. Landlords may not use criminal background checks to discriminate against a protected class (765 ILCS § 705/3; HB0367
  • Illinois landlords should follow HUD recommendations for using criminal background checks fairly. This includes avoiding blanket policies for denying applicants with criminal convictions, assessing applicants and their criminal histories on a case-by-case basis, and only denying an applicant when they demonstrate a risk to the safety of other residents or the property. 

Entry 

  • Advanced Notice: There is no state law in Illinois requiring landlords to give advance notice before entering a property.  
  • Permitted Times: Illinois state law does not designate any time-of-day restrictions for entering. 
  • Emergency Entry: There is no state statute regarding emergency entry in Illinois. 

Evictions 

  • Rent Demand Notice: 5 days to pay or quit (735 ILCS § 5/9-209). 
  • Notice for Lease Violation: If a tenant violates a lease term other than nonpayment, the landlord may issue a 10-day notice to quit. The landlord need not give the tenant an opportunity to reconcile the violation. After issuing the notice and waiting ten days, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit (735 ILCS § 5/9-210). 
  • Unconditional Quit Notice: If a tenant is found to participate in criminal activities (such as using, possessing, or selling illegal drugs on the premises), the landlord may issue a five-day unconditional quit notice. After issuing the notice and waiting five days, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit (735 ILCS § 5/9-120; 740 ILCS § 40/11).  
  • Fair Notice Ordinance: A new ordinance approved for Chicago in 2022 changed how landlords must handle non-renewals (lease terminations). According to eviction law Chicago landlords must provide 60 days’ notice to terminate leases lasting between six months and three years, and 120 days’ notice to terminate leases longer than three years. 
  • Residential Tenant Lockout: A residential tenant lockout occurs any time a landlord does or threatens to do any of the following to make a unit uninhabitable: change the locks, block any entrance, remove doors, shut off utilities, remove property or belongings, etc. A residential tenant lockout constitutes an illegal eviction Illinois law forbids. 

Other Laws and Facts About Illinois 

  • The average rent rate in Illinois is $1,151 per month. 
  • The average rent price in Chicago is $1,775 per month, which is 18% lower than the national average. 
  • The city of Chicago requires landlords to give at least 48 hours’ notice before entering a unit. Landlords must also enter on Monday-Friday between 8 am and 6 pm. Emergency entry without notice is permitted (Chicago MUN. Code Ch. 5-12-050). 

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