Illinois Landlord Tenant Laws

This is a summary of Illinois Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the Illinois Compiled Statutes and various online sources to serve as a reference and for people wanting to learn about Illinois landlord-tenant laws, Illinois eviction laws, and Illinois renters’ rights. 

However, this guide is not comprehensive and PayRent does not warrant the accuracy of this information. Statutes can change any time the state legislature passes a new law. Additionally, counties and cities may have different regulations. Given its limitations, this guide is not an adequate substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer.  If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, we’ve included a list of attorney referral services in this guide.

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Rules and Regulations Governing Illinois Landlord-Tenant Laws

Illinois Lease Terms Provisions

Security Deposits

  • What is the maximum allowable security deposit?

There is no Illinois law limiting security deposits.

  • Are security deposits required to earn interest?

Landlords who own more than 25 units must pay interest on deposits held for 6 months or more.  Interest earnings must be credited or paid to the tenant every 12 months. Landlord shall pay all interest that has accumulated and remains unpaid, regardless of the amount, upon termination of the tenancy. Landlord who failed or refused to pay interest shall, upon a finding by a circuit court that he/she 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. (765 ILCS 715).

  • Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account? 

No. There is no Illinois law requiring security deposits to be stored in a separate bank account. 

  • Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?

No. There is no Illinois law forbidding non-refundable fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge. 

  • How long do landlords have to return security deposits?

45 days.  (765 ILCS 710/1(a))

  • Can landlords withhold security deposits?

Yes. Landlords can use the deposit to cover unpaid rent, damage exceeding normal wear and tear, and cleaning costs.  (765 ILCS 710/1(a))

  • Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?

Yes. An itemized list, detailing the amount withheld and the reasons for withholding, must be personally delivered or sent via postmarked mail to the tenant within 30 days. (765 ILCS 710/1)

  • Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?

No. There is no Illinois law requiring landlords to issue receipts for security deposits.

  • Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?

No. There is no Illinois law specifying record-keeping requirements.

  • What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?

The landlord will be liable for an amount equal to twice the amount of the security deposit due, together with court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees if the security deposit refund and/or accounting is not returned within the required time frames. (765 ILCS 710/1)

Rent

  • Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)

No. There are no rent control laws in Illinois.

  • Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?

No. There is no Illinois law requiring a certain payment method for rent.

Fees

  • Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?

Yes. Landlords can impose “reasonable” late fees that do not exceed the greater of $20 or 20% of one month’s rent, whichever is greater. (770 ILCS 95/7.10(c))

  • Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?

Yes. Landlords cannot charge late fees until at least 5 days after the due date. (770 ILCS 95/7.10(a))

  • Can landlords charge application fees?

Yes. There is no Illinois law forbidding application fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.

  • Can landlords charge returned check fees?

Yes. There is no Illinois law forbidding returned check fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.

Illinois Landlord-Tenant Relations

Notices

  • Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between tenancy terms?

There is no Illinois statute on this matter. However, it is recommended to provide 7-day notice for week-to-week tenancies and 30-day notice for month-to-month tenancies.

  • Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?

No. There is no Illinois law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the rental property.

  • What notice is required to terminate a fixed-end lease?

No notice is required — the lease ends on the date stated in the lease.

  • What notice is required to terminate a week-to-week periodic lease?

Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the lease with 7 days written notice. (735 ILCS 5/9-207)

  • What notice is required to terminate a month-to-month periodic lease?

Either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the lease with 30 days written notice. (735 ILCS 5/9-207)

  • Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?

There is no statute in Illinois law covering this issue. 

Entry Provisions

  • When can landlords enter the rental premises with notice?

There is no state statute in Illinois law covering this issue. 

  • What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit?

There is no state statute in Illinois law covering this issue. 

  • When can landlords enter the rental premises without providing notice to their tenants?

There is no state statute in Illinois law covering this issue.

Landlord’s Duties

  • Landlord must change the locks if requested by a domestic violence victim (765 ILCS 750/20). 
  • Landlord must not disclose the status of domestic violence victim to anyone (765 ILCS 750/27).
  • Landlord must not terminate or refuse to renew a lease to tenant who filed an official complaint to a government authority (765 ILCS 720).

Tenant’s Duties

Tenant must maintain the smoke detector in the dwelling unit and inform landlord in writing if there are any defects that he/she cannot fix by himself/herself (425 ILCS 60).

Required Landlord Disclosures

  • Landlords must provide formulas for dividing up utilities when utilities are split among multiple tenants. (765 ILCS 740/5)
  • Landlords must disclose any existence of Radon in any rental unit  (420 ILCS 46/25)
  • Landlords must provide written information regarding the carbon monoxide alarm testing and maintenance (430 ILCS 135). 
  • Landlords must provide written disclosure of information regarding the smoke detector testing and maintenance. (425 ILCS 60). 
  • Before renting pre-1978 property, landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards. (16 CFR 1303, 42 U.S. Code § 4852d) . If the landlord fails to disclose all known lead paint hazards, the landlord can face fines of up to $19,507 for each violation (24 CFR 30.65).

Illinois Renters’ Rights

  • What are Illinois renters’ rights if landlords breach their duties? (See Landlord’s Duties)

If a landlord fails to pay a utility bill that is the landlord’s responsibility to pay, the tenant may terminate the lease.  (765 ILCS 735/1)

  • Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs or other breaches of their landlords’ duties?

Yes. If a landlord fails to pay a utility bill that is the landlord’s responsibility to pay, the tenant may transfer the bill to the tenant’s name and deduct the cost from the cost of the rent. (765 ILCS 735/1)

If a landlord fails to make a required repair within 14 days after receiving notice of the issue, the tenant may repair and deduct the amount from the next payment, so long as the reasonable cost of the repair does not exceed the lesser of $500 or one-half of the monthly rent. (765 ILCS 742/5)

  • What are the protections for tenants against retaliation from their landlords for exercising their Illinois renter’s rights?

Illinois law prohibits landlords from terminating or refusing to renew a lease or tenancy of property used as a residence on the ground that the tenant has complained to any governmental authority of a bona fide violation of any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation. (765 ILCS 720/1)

Illinois Eviction Laws

  • What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under Illinois eviction laws?
  • What notice do Illinois eviction laws require that landlords provide tenants before starting the eviction process?
    • For evictions based on non-payment of rent, the landlord must give a 5-day notice to remedy the breach before starting the eviction process. (735 ILCS 5/9-209)
  • For evictions based on violations of the rental agreement, landlords must give a 10-day notice of termination of the lease before starting the eviction process. Landlords do not have to permit the tenant to cure these types of breaches. (735 ILCS 5/9-210)
  • For evictions based on illegal activity,  landlords must give a 5-day notice of termination of the lease before starting the eviction process. Landlords do not have to permit the tenant to cure these types of breaches. (735 ILCS 5/9-120
  • For evictions based on foreclosure of the rental property, landlords must give a 90-day notice of termination of the lease before starting the eviction process.  (735 ILCS 5/9-207.5)
  • For evictions based on a holdover tenancy, landlords must provide the notice required to end the tenancy. If the tenant remains on the rental property after the termination date, the landlord can begin the eviction process without providing additional notice. (735 ILCS 5/9-102)
  • Do Illinois eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities? 

No. Illinois law prohibits self-help evictions. (765 ILCS 735/1.4)

Squatter’s rights in Illinois

Under Homestead Act of 1862, individuals (squatters) can possess the property if they have lived there for a specific period of time, done so publicly, made repairs to the property, have deed to the property and have paid rent or taxes on this property.

Illinois has no specific laws recognizing squatters.

The squatter can claim adverse possession if he/she has possessed the premises for 20 years, or possessed the premises with a color of title and continuously paid taxes for 7 years (735 ILCS 5/13-101, 735 ILCS 5/13-109). 

COVID-19 Changes to Illinois Landlord-Tenant Laws

Government 

Attorney Referral Services

Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations

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