Many Chicago residents don’t realize their true tenant’s rights in Chicago. While the topic of chicago renters rights is a very wide-ranging one, there are several things that renters commonly experience particular confusion about. The following list includes some of the most asked-about questions for Chicago area renters.
When Can a Landlord Enter Your Apartment?
Landlords are legally required to give you 48 hours of notice before they enter your apartment. Landlords are not allowed to simply show up without notice, and they can’t come by anytime they like “just to say hello.” Legally, you are under no obligation to allow the landlord entrance unless they have given the proper 48 hour notice. The only exception to this rule is an emergency in the building, such as a plumbing or electrical problem that can’t wait. However, even in such an emergency, the landlord is required to notify you within the next 48 hours, stating that they entered the apartment and for what purpose.
When Can You Withhold Rent?
If your apartment does not meet the current code for the city of Chicago, you should make a request for repair to your landlord, in writing. From the time of request submission, your landlord is then legally allowed 14 days to correct the issue and bring the apartment up to code. If they fail to do so, you can elect to perform the repairs yourself (or hire someone to do so.) You are then allowed to hold the larger of either $500 or an amount equal to one half of the monthly rent from the next month’s rent.
When Can You Terminate a Lease Without Penalty?
If the apartment is not up to code and is not habitable as a result, you should follow the guidelines above: Give your landlord written notice, followed by a 14 day waiting period. If the waiting period expires and the landlord has not corrected the problem to make the apartment habitable, you are legally allowed to move out with no penalty for breaking the lease.
What Are the Rules For Security Deposits?
The landlord must tell you which bank the deposit is held in, and this deposit must be held apart from the landlord’s personal money. The landlord must provide you with a receipt for the security deposit. The security deposit must be returned within 45 days of the date that you moved out. If the landlord makes any deductions from the security deposit, they must provide you with proof that the repairs were done, in the form of receipts.
Renters are well protected under the laws in Illinois. Be sure that you are aware of all your rights before you rent an apartment. This will give you the best possible position as you begin life in your new rented home!