Chicago Tenant Rights
What are Chicago Tenant Rights? Renters in the City of Chicago are protected by the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO). Chicago tenant rights are a particular set of laws that protect the rights of renters and landlords. Whether you need to break a lease, are seeking a return of your security deposit, are involved in litigation with your landlord or your landlord is in foreclosure, it is important that you are familiar with the laws and ordinances concerning your case.
What are my landlord’s responsibilities concerning the maintenance of the property? In the City of Chicago, it is imperative that all landlords provide notice in the event of any service shutoffs. This includes: heat, water, A/C and electricity. Utilities are the most basic of all services but in less affluent neighborhoods, this happens with surprising frequency. Your landlord has fourteen (14) days from receiving written notice of necessary repairs before you can seek any remediation.
When can my landlord evict me? It is essential that landlords provide tenants at least 30 days notice, prior to the end of the lease, if the rental unit will no longer be available. If not, the tenant has the right to occupy the dwelling for an additional 60 days to find a new property.
Your landlord can never force you out without first taking you to court and receiving a court order. Only then can the Country Sheriff remove your possessions from the home and legally remove you.
When can my landlord keep my security deposit? There are only two instances in which your landlord can withhold your security deposit - 1) If you owe rent. 2) If you have created damage to the property beyond “normal wear” and the property owner can demonstrate they have paid for repairs.
Often, Chicago tenants do not initiate disputes with their landlords because they simply do not know that they have rights. Chicago tenant rights ensure that the tenant has the right to live in a property that abides by all municipal codes of the City of Chicago. There are a variety of other rights that tenants should know. If you rent, make sure you educate yourself on the basics of tenant rights and responsibilities.
Click here for more Frequently Asked Questions about Breaking your Lease in Chicago and Chicago Security Deposit Law, including how you may receive double your security deposit back.