Tenant & Landlord Rights
...Security Deposits, Rent Increases & Mediation
Tenant & Landlord Laws
The rights and duties of landlords and tenants are spelled out in federal law, state statutes, local ordinances, safety and housing codes, common law, contract law, and a number of court decisions. Not surprising, the responsibilities imposed on tenants and landlords vary from state to state, and from county to county. STEVEN IVY P.C. is well-versed in all the nuances of the landlord-tenant rights. We understand the challenges our clients are facing, and through personalized service we help our clients to navigate though all the legal obstacles.
Landlord Rights & Responsibilities
Must keep the rental unit fit to live in.
Must make all necessary repairs.
Must keep the rental unit in compliance with state and local health and housing codes.
May set the amount of rent and security deposit.
May charge you a late fee for late rent. The late fee must be reasonable.
May make reasonable rules and regulations.
The hallmark of our practice is personal service. We work closely with our clients to ensure that their interests are properly protected. STEVEN IVY P.C. is servicing clients in several Illinois counties, including: Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Kane County, DeKalb County, Will County, McHenry County and Kendall County. Our clients can meet with us in eight Illinois locations, including: Chicago, Lisle, Northbrook, Oak Brook, Rosemont, Saint Charles, Schaumburg, and Warrenville.
Tenant Rights & Responsibilities
You should demand a written lease to avoid future misunderstandings with your landlord.
You must pay your rent on time.
You must keep the rental unit clean and undamaged.
You are responsible for any damages beyond normal wear and tear.
You must pay the utility bill if the lease makes you responsible.
You may not alter the rental unit without your landlord’s approval.
You must give written notice when you intend to move out if you don’t want to lose your security deposit. Normally, a 30-day notice is sufficient.
The Illinois Retaliatory Eviction Act prohibits your landlord from evicting you for complaining to any governmental authority (housing inspector, human rights commission, etc.).
Landlords can require tenants to pay a security deposit which may be used to cover unpaid rent, repair damages to the unit, and clean the unit after you move. However, tenants should be aware of the responsibilities that landlords undertake by accepting their security deposit, they include:
1) Landlord must pay interest on tenant's security deposit if it is held for at least 6 months and there are at least 25 units in your building or complex (not applicable to commercial leases). Your landlord must pay you the interest or apply the interest as a credit to your rent every 12 months. You may sue your landlord for willfully failing to pay interest and recover an amount equal to your security deposit, court costs, and attorney’s fees.
2) Landlord must return security deposit in full, no later than 45 days after the tenant moves out if the tenant: did not damage the rental unit, cleared the premises before moving out, doesn't own any back rent and the building or complex from with tenant is moving out consists of 5 or more units. If your landlord refuses to return all or any portion of your security deposit, he/she must give you an itemized statement of the damages along with paid receipts within 30 days of the date you moved. You can sue your landlord to recover your security deposit. If a court finds that your landlord violated the security deposit law, he/she could be liable for damages in an amount equal to two times your security deposit, court costs, and attorney’s fees.
3) The amount of the security deposit is normally equal to one month’s rent, however, there is no legal limit on the amount your landlord can require.
Rent Increases in Illinois
Illinois does not have a rent control law. Therefore, the landlord can raise the tenant's rent as much as he/she deems necessary. However, the Illinois States Attorney points out that in a week-to-week or month-to-month tenancy, the landlord can raise your rent by any amount, if you are given 7 days notice for a week-to-week lease or 30 days notice for a month-to- month lease. Your landlord cannot raise your rent if you have a fixed-term lease. In other words, if you have a year lease, your landlord cannot raise your rent prior to the expiration of the lease.
The landlord is NOT required to give the tenant any reason for termination of the lease. However, the landlord must notify the tenant in writing that he/she intends to terminate the lease. Therefore, if you are a tenant that is renting month-to-month, you are entitled to a 30-day written notice. Leases running year-to-year require a 60-day written notice.
Solving Landlord-Tenant Problems Through Mediation
Mediation, which with help of a mediator, has been proven quite effective in solving tenant-landlord disputes. A mediator is someone who can meet with you and the person with whom you are having a dispute and help you both come to a resolution you can both agree on. A mediator is not a judge and does not make decisions, but rather helps you and the other person make a decision. STEVEN IVY P.C. helps both landlords and tenants to resolve their difference through mediation, without the court's involvement. In most instances, the mediation process has proven to be very efficient and less expensive than the alternative litigation. For more information contact our office, we are confident in our ability to help.