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Chicago Tenants Rights FAQ

Chicago landlord lawyer

But what are "Chicago" Tenant Rights?

Tenants rights in Chicago are protected by the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO).  Whether you need to break a lease, are seeking a return of your security deposit, are involved in litigation with your landlord, or your landlord is in foreclosure, it is important that you hire a lawyer that knows the Chicago RLTO.

What are my landlord’s responsibilities concerning the maintenance of the property?

In the City of Chicago, it is imperative that all landlords provide notice in the event of any service shutoffs. This includes: heat, water, A/C and electricity. Utilities are the most basic of all services but in less affluent neighborhoods, this happens with surprising frequency. Your landlord has fourteen (14) days from receiving written notice of necessary repairs before you can seek any remedy under the RLTO.

When can my landlord evict me?

It is essential that landlords provide tenants at least 30 days notice, prior to the end of the lease, if the rental unit will no longer be available. If not, the tenant has the right to occupy the dwelling for an additional 60 days to find a new property.  Your landlord can never force you out without first taking you to court and receiving a court order. Only then can the Cook County Sheriff remove your possessions from the home and legally remove you.

When can my landlord keep my security deposit?

There are only two (2) instances in which your landlord can withhold your security deposit. First, if you owe for rent. Second, you have created damage to the property beyond “normal wear” and the property owner can demonstrate they have paid for repairs. Utilities such as gas, electricity, cable, and water can NOT be deducted from a security deposit under RLTO Section 5-12-080(d).


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