Illinois Landlord-Tenant Law

Illinois is known as the Land of Lincoln – Chicago, in the northeast part of the state, provides a great cultural and economic hub while other parts of the state are rich with agriculture and natural resources. The cities and many suburbs in Illinois are great places for investors to consider buying a rental property as there are options for every budget. For our recommendations on exactly where to invest in this state, take a look at our Illinois state rental investment report – keep reading for more information on Illinois landlord-tenant law.

Laws that impact the rental market, landlords, and tenants are constantly being decided in states. Make sure you know what’s on your ballot – find Illinois voting information here.

Illinois Renters' Rights and Landlord Responsibilities

  • Return security deposit within 45 days
  • You cannot raise the rent on a fixed lease
  • Must give tenants 5 days to pay rent before filing for eviction
  • If the landlord fails to pay utilities, the tenant can pay and deduct the cost from their rent payment

When it comes to Illinois rental laws, there are a few specifics landlords need to know:

  1. Security Deposits – The landlord is required to return the security deposit in full within 45 days of a tenant moving out. There is no limit to what the landlord can charge as a deposit, but local governments may have caps in place.
  2. Raising Rent – Landlords cannot raise the rent on fixed leases but are required to supply a seven-day notice for week-to-week renters, or 30-day notice for month-to-month tenants. 
  3. Eviction – If the reason for eviction is a failure to pay rent, the landlord must give the tenant five days to pay. If an eviction is filed because the tenant violates a term on the lease, the landlord must give a ten-day notice. 
  4. Utilities – If not otherwise noted on the lease agreement, the landlord is responsible for paying the utilities. If the landlord fails to pay the utilities, the tenant may pay for them and deduct the cost out of their rent payment. 
  5. Rental Applications (Illinois) – The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits employers and landlords from inquiring about or discriminating based on non-conviction records, juvenile records, or expunged or sealed records. (775 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/1-103 through 5/3-103. as amended by SB1780.) 
  6. Rental Applications (Cook County) – Landlords can no longer include a checkbox on a housing application that asks whether the applicant has a criminal background or not. They must provide a Tenant Screening Criteria before accepting an application fee. Landlords can ask about criminal background after an applicant has been approved, and can reject based on convictions within last 3 years, first considering relevant factors (nature of crime, severity, etc.) Sex offender restrictions are basis for rejection.   

Illinois Landlords' Rights and Tenant Responsibilities

  • Landlord may charge a $10 late fee for rent under $500
  • Tenants have 7 days to claim abandoned property
  • Tenants must give a 30-day notice before moving out 
  • The landlord doesn’t have to give a reason for terminating a lease
  1. Late Rent – If the tenant does not pay rent on time, the landlord may charge a $10 late fee per month if rent is under $500. If rent is over $500, the landlord may charge a $10 late fee plus 5% of the rent per month. 
  2. Abandoned Property – If a tenant abandons personal property after vacating the unit, the landlord must leave the property or store it for seven days. If the landlord deems the property valueless, they may dispose of it immediately. 
  3. Vacate Notice – Tenants are required to give the landlord a written 30-day notice if they plan to move out. If the tenant pays yearly, then the notice must be 60 days. 
  4. Terminating a Lease – The landlord is required to provide a written 30-day notice to the tenant if they plan to terminate the lease. If the landlord fails to provide notice, the tenant may stay in the unit for 60 days.

Illinois Landlord-Tenant Law FAQ

Below are answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions when it comes to landlord-tenant laws in Illinois:

How Long Does a Landlord Have to Fix Something In Illinois?

According to the Illinois Residential Tenants’ Right to Repair Act, a landlord must make the repair within 14 days after being notified by the tenant. If an emergency repair needs to be made, tenants can hire someone to repair the issues, pay the bill, and deduct the payment from their rent. 

Can a Landlord Enter Without Permission in Illinois?

In Illinois, a landlord can only enter without permission in case of an emergency – other than that, landlords can enter at a time requested by the tenant during reasonable hours for example between 9:00 am to 8:00 pm. Some cities might have specific rules like Chicago, where a landlord must give a 48-hour notice on their intent to enter the rental property.

What is the Eviction Process in Illinois?

Read the full Illinois eviction laws here. While it can vary on a case-by-case basis, if a tenant fails to pay rent or there is another lease violation, a landlord can start the eviction process – tenants have five days from the day they are first given their eviction notice to pay rent or move out of the rental and then court proceedings may follow.

Due Diligence and Illinois Rental Laws


TurboTenant has utilized many municipal sources along with official state statutes in order to compile this information to the best of our ability. However, local laws are always in flux and landlords and tenants alike should do their due diligence and consult legal help when it’s needed. We hope the following list can serve as a valuable resource and allow you to succeed as a tenant or landlord in Illinois. Be sure to take proper precautions when it comes to finding the top candidates for your unit by utilizing our online rental application and tenant screening services.

Disclaimer: TurboTenant, Inc does not provide legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. All users are advised to check all applicable local, state, and federal laws, and consult legal counsel should questions arise.


Illinois Landlord-Tenant Law Resources

Illinois Fair Housing Resources

Federal Fair Housing Resources

Other State Resources

Illinois Associations

Illinois City-Specific Housing Resources









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