Illinois Rental Laws and Regulations – Zumper (2023)

Illinois Rental Laws and Regulations – Zumper (1)

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice, and landlords should not substitute professional legal advice for this information.

Whether you manage a single unit or rent multiple properties, you need to be aware of Illinois rental laws and regulations. As a landlord, you want to maximize your investment while ensuring tenants have adequate housing. Learn about everything from leases and security deposits to immigration permits and required disclosures in this guide to Illinois rental laws.

A Guide to Illinois Rental Laws and Regulations

  1. Leases, rent and fees
  2. Bail bonds and bail bonds management in Illinois
  3. Information and entry requirements
  4. Illinois Utility Laws
  5. Pet Laws in Illinois
  6. Required Disclosures
  7. Illinois eviction laws
  8. Illinois Business Licenses
  9. Illinois court information
  10. Additional resources for Illinois landlords
  11. Frequently asked questions about Illinois rental laws

Leases, Rent and Fees in Illinois

If you are renting a property in Illinois, you will need a written lease for leases longer than one year. Legally, you can fall back on a verbal agreement for shorter leases. However, it is usually in the landlord's best interest to have a rental agreement in writing.

What Should Be Included in a Rental Agreement in Illinois

  • Date when the rent is due
  • Late Payments and Fees
  • If a grace period is offered
  • Monthly Payment Amount
  • Where can I pay the rent?
  • Payment methods are accepted
  • Any warnings about rent increases

Late Fees

You don't have to set a deadline for late payments, but you should make a note of this on the rental agreement if you do. If tenants are late paying by even a day, the law allows you to levy a late fee as long as you state this in the rental agreement.

adjust rental ratesin Illinois

If you intend to increase the rent for your housing units, it is a legal requirement that you inform the tenants in good time.

  • Monthly rental contracts have a notice period of 30 days.
  • Rental contracts with a weekly term have a notice period of seven days.

Note that you can only increase the rent for weekly leases, monthly leases, or longer leases that are expiring. Illinois law prohibits landlords from increasing rent during the term of a lease. In addition, you may not increase the rent for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons.

Illinois has no state or local rent control laws.

If you own rental properties, you can terminate existing rental contracts at any time. You do not have to give a reason for terminating the lease. However, you must notify monthly renters and annual renters at least 30 days in advanceat least 60 days in advance.

Bail bonds and deposit management in Illinois

Illinois law does not require a security deposit, but most landlords require it to protect against damage and repairs.

Bail Limitsin Illinois

Although many landlords choose to charge a deposit equal to one month's rent, each state has no cap on the amount you can charge.

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Holding Deposits

If you are posting a security deposit for six months or more and your building has at least 25 units, you must do soPay interest on any depositsin Illinois. State law requires you to keep your deposits in segregated accounts, which means you cannot commingle them with other assets.

interest regulations

As an Illinois landlord, you have two options for processing interest payments:

  • Pay the interest directly to the tenant.
  • Provide the tenant with an equivalent credit against rental payments every 12 months.

Withholding part of the deposit

In some cases you may be required to retain some or all of the deposit. In Illinois, landlords are allowed to withhold all or part of the amount for only two reasons:

  • Unpaid rent
  • Damage beyond normal wear and tear

If you keep the deposit, you must provide the tenant with a detailed breakdown of the relevant costs. Illinois law requires you to provide this list within 30 days of the move-out date. If you make repairs, you must do so within 30 days and include invoices with your itemized list. If you miss the 30-day deadline, you are legally required to return the full security deposit to the renter within the 45-day deadline.

refund of the deposit

After the tenant has moved out, you must pay back the deposit on time. In most cases, Illinois law requires landlords to do thisReturn deposit within 45 daysafter the move-out date. If the state law on deposit interest applies to you, you must also pay the interest when you return the deposit.

Information and entry requirementsin Illinois

State law requires you to give at least 24 hours notice. Even with prior notice, you may only enter occupied units at reasonable times or on weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Illinois law waives disclosure of immigration requirements in the event of an emergency. Emergencies typically apply to utility repairs, water leaks, or other issues that could lead to health or safety issues.

Illinois Utility Laws

In many cases, the units you own have separate gas or electricity meters, and tenants receive their utility bills from the provider. If you have a single meter for an entire building, or if tenants have to pay part of the utilities for a common room, you need to provide the information in advance. These key laws affect how you handle rental unit utilities:

  • The Tenant Payment Disclosure Act states that you must clarify how to calculate what each tenant owes from a master meter. A copy of the total invoice must be submitted at the request of the tenant.
  • IIllinois Rental Property Utility Service Actstates that you must state whether you charge tenants a share of the utilities in common areas. If you fail to pay the electricity bill for your property, tenants can deduct the amount from their rent payment to you.

You cannot turn off utilities in occupied units. To terminate tenants, you must submit a notice of termination.

Pet Laws in Illinois

Illinois has no pet laws for rental properties. That means you can decide whether you want to allow pets in your accommodation units. If you allow pets, you can limit the size or type of pets allowed.

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Federal law requires landlords to allow service animals unless they would cause a significant burden or additional expense.

Required Disclosuresin Illinois

Before your tenants move into your property,Illinois law requires you to make several disclosures. In most cases, you must provide this information in writing, for example in your rental agreement:

Notice of Foreclosure

If your property is currently in foreclosure, you must inform prospective tenants before signing a lease.

Lead based paint

Federal law requires landlords to notify tenants of the possibility of lead paint in buildings constructed before 1978. Landlords must provide tenants with forms and brochures explaining the dangers of this type of paint. If you test your property for lead, you must also provide tenants with copies of the results.

lock changes

Before a new tenant moves into an apartment, you must change the locks and confirm in writing that you have completed this task.

Identity of the property owner

If you own real estate in Illinois, you must disclose your identity to tenants, even if you hire a management company to do chores for you.


Illinois law does not require radon testing. If you take a test that returns a positive result, you must communicate the results to potential renters. This requirement only applies to units on the first or second floor of the building.

Incidental Payments

If you require the tenant to pay part of a major utility bill for the property, you must disclose the situation in advance. You must let tenants know how you calculate utilities, and you must confirm that the amount you collect for these payments does not exceed the total bill.

Illinois eviction laws

When you own a property, you want to find good tenants who will take care of their home and pay on time. If your tenants breach any part of a lease in Illinois, you can terminate them fairly quickly.

  • Five days:The number of days you must wait before you can initiate an eviction for non-payment.
  • 10 Take:The number of days you must wait before beginning eviction proceedings for another lease violation.

You must file an eviction notice with your district court. If your tenants refuse to vacate the property, you have the right to file a lawsuit against them and move forward with the eviction process.

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Illinois Business Licenses

Illinois law does not require landlords to have a commercial license to rent a property. However, your city or county may have stricter regulations. Check with your local licensing office for requirements before signing a lease.

Illinois court information

If tenants challenge your decision to keep all or part of the security deposit, they can sue you in court. If tenants don't pay the rent and they quit, you can sue in court.

In Illinois, you can go to small claims court to dispute amounts up to $10,000. For more information on filing these claims in Illinois, see these links:

Additional resources for Illinois landlords

Many landlord-tenant laws in Illinois cover leases statewide. However, some cities and counties have regulations that take precedence over state laws. Regardless of where you own property in Illinois, you can use these links to keep up to date with rental regulations:

Now that you understand Illinois rental laws, renting out your property can be easyRegistration at Zumper. Discover how Zumper helps Illinois landlords find tenants, screen applicants, and collect rent on one easy platform.

FAQs on Illinois rental laws

Is Illinois a landlord- or renter-friendly state?

Tenant friendly.

Does Illinois require a written lease?

Yes, depending on the rental period.

Are there bail regulations in Illinois?

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No. Illinois does not require a security deposit, nor does it set maximum security deposit limits that landlords may require.

Are landlords required to provide receipts for rent payments or security deposits?

Sometimes. If you want a receipt, you should ask for it.

Does Illinois limit arrears interest on rent payments?

No. There is no cap on late fees.

Does Illinois have pet laws for renters?

No. It is at the landlord's discretion whether pets are allowed.

Do landlords in Illinois need to give notice prior to immigration?

Yes, except in emergencies.

Now that you understand Illinois rental laws, renting out your property can be easyRegistration at Zumper. Discover how Zumper helps Illinois landlords find tenants, screen applicants, and collect rent on one easy platform.

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What a landlord Cannot do in Illinois? ›

Landlords cannot raise the rent or retaliate in any other way because a tenant complained about a building or health code violation. Landlords also cannot evict a tenant because the tenant asked them to make repairs, joined a tenants' organization, or acted on any legal right or remedy.

How long does a landlord have to fix something in Illinois? ›

If something in your apartment needs to be fixed, send your landlord a formal letter with a list of the repairs needed and request that they be made within 14 days. If it is an emergency and can threaten your health, safety or the apartment itself, ask that the repair be made within 72 hours.

What makes a rental uninhabitable in Illinois? ›

Rental units in Illinois must be"habitable and fit for living" and remain that way for the entirety of the lease. There can't be any problems with the facilities necessary for both a) the use of the dwelling for residential purposes and b) the life, health, and safety of the tenant.

How much notice does a landlord have to give a tenant to move out in Illinois? ›

In Illinois, if there is no lease or if the lease does not specify a move out date, the Landlord must give at least 30 days of notice to a tenant that the landlord wants to move out. This notice must be in writing and must arrive to the tenant at least 30 days prior to their move out date.

What rights do tenants have in Illinois? ›

Illinois Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

It is against the law in Illinois to discriminate in all aspects of real estate transactions, including renting or leasing, based on your source of income. This includes non-employment income, such Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) or disability payments.

What is the new landlord law in Illinois? ›

Landlords who discriminate, intimidate, or interfere with fair housing legislation and federal and/or state requirements can face several consequences including significant fines. First time violations of the Fair Housing Act carry a $16,000 civil penalty.

What can you withhold rent for in Illinois? ›

Illinois law:

In Chicago, a tenant can stop paying rent when there is no hot water, rodents or bugs are infesting in the area, failure to dispose the garbage or waste and to maintain the floors and stairs.

Does landlord have to fix AC in Illinois? ›

Although Illinois doesn't necessarily require that an air conditioner be provided in your rental unit, it does require that the landlord maintain it if one is present. Therefore, if you move into a rental house or apartment with an air conditioner, your landlord must keep it in working condition.

What is landlord harassment in Illinois? ›

Landlord harassment is generally categorized as the ongoing use of aggressive tactics to intimidate the tenant. In other words, a landlord is either disrupting their right to quiet enjoyment or hostilely forcing the tenant to take some action.

Can a landlord refuse to renew a lease in Illinois? ›

In Illinois

Yes, generally a landlord can refuse to renew a lease. If the lease is a month-to-month lease, the landlord can end it by serving a notice to the tenant without giving any reason.

How do I report unsafe living conditions in Illinois? ›

Call the Illinois Emergency Management Agency at (800) 872-7860.

What are my rights as a tenant without a lease Illinois? ›

A landlord may evict a renter who does not have a lease and instead has a renter's agreement, as long as they give the tenant at least a 30-day notice. There is no reasoning required for a landlord to end this type of agreement.

Can a landlord evict you in 5 days in Illinois? ›

Free 5 Day Notice to Vacate Eviction Letter Template. In Chicago, eviction notices are called a “5-day notice.” In Illinois, a landlord may not file an eviction process unless the tenant fails to pay the outstanding rent within five days after service of a written demand for payment.

Can a landlord give you a 5 day eviction notice in Illinois? ›

5-day notice (non-payment of rent)

If the tenant doesn't pay the rent on time, the landlord can give them a 5-day written notice.

How far behind in rent before eviction in Illinois? ›

Payment of back rent within the five day period could prevent an eviction case from being filed against you for failure to pay rent. Depending on the facts of your case, you may still have an opportunity to resolve other issues during the notice period.

What is considered landlord harassment in Illinois? ›

Whether physical or verbal, all landlord harassment has the same goal—to force the tenant to move out. Harassment is when a landlord uses persistent aggressive methods, fraud, coercion, or intimidation to get a tenant to do what the landlord wants.

How much notice does a landlord have to give when selling the property in Illinois? ›

No less than 30 days prior to listing or otherwise offering a rental property for sale, the owner shall provide notice to the tenant association, or if no tenant association exists, to each tenant, and to the Department, of the owner's intent to sell.

Can an Illinois landlord enter without permission? ›

Can a landlord enter without permission in Illinois? No, a landlord cannot enter a premise without permission except in the case of an emergency in the city of Chicago. We were unable to find a rule applicable to all of Illinois, however, each city should have a municipal code for landlords to follow.

Can a landlord lock you out in Illinois? ›

Under Illinois law, landlords cannot use force to lock you out of your dwelling unit.


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