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Illinois Tenant Rights

Illinois Tenant Rights

Quick Guide to Illinois Tenant Rights

IL Tenant Rights

Illinois tenant rights closely reflect the procedures of other states around the country.  However, Illinois has some unique laws that address the rights of the renter and repairs.  There are also specific time tables a landlord must work within to serve certain notices.  If you have questions about your rights as a tenant, it’s a good idea to visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  You should also consider talking with the Illinois Tenants Union if you feel any of your IL tenant rights have been violated.  

Renter’s have specific rights when it comes to breaking a lease, their security deposit, repairs, and the eviction process.   These Illinois tenant rights are expanded below.  

Breaking a Lease

You are often responsible for rent even if you break a lease within the state of IL.  If you have not given proper notice to a landlord and tried your best to negotiate with them, you may be sued if you fail to pay the rent on the remainder of your lease agreement.  In some cases, however, you may be able to break a lease without or with little penalty because of the following reasons:

• Lost your job

• Received a job in a new city or state

• You built a new home

• You’re moving in with a spouse or splitting up with your spouse

• You’re living in a bad neighborhood

Security Deposit

Illinois tenant rights apply to receiving security deposits in some situations.  Under IL law and most other states, a landlord may deny the return of your security deposit if you moved out early and still owed rent of caused significant damage within the apartment.  

If you ended a lease after a rental period and moved out, your landlord must notify within 30 days in order to notify if they are deducting anything from your security deposit.  They then have an additional 30 days to provide you with receipts for the repairs.  If the landlord lists no repair costs, they have 45 days total to return the security deposit.  


Under IL tenant rights, your landlord is responsible for providing you with safe and healthy living conditions.  If you live in Chicago, the city has a unique Building Code with over 1,400 pages devoted to proper safety conditions.  Suburbs usually adopt codes from the International Code Council, and your landlord is responsible for providing all repairs listed under these codes.  

If you believe your landlord is in violation of your IL tenant rights and failed to provide proper repairs in a reasonable amount of time, you should contact an attorney.  

Eviction and Other Notices

If your landlord wants to send you an eviction or similar notice, they have strict time tables to work within.  There are four kinds of notice in Illinois

1) A 5 days’ notice for the nonpayment of rent

2) A 10 days’ notice for describing your violation of the terms of the lease

3) A 30 days’ notice for termination of tenancy with an oral lease

4) A letter of non-renewal of a written lease 30 days before the end of the rental period