Aaron Krolik Law Office

Chicago

The Security Deposit and Last Month’s Rent Myth – Exposed

First, pursuant RLTO Section 5-12-140(a), no Chicago rental agreement may provide that the landlord or tenant agrees to waive or forego rights, remedies or obligations provided under this chapter. Second, pursuant to Chicago RLTO Section 5-12-080(d), deductions may be made to a Chicago tenant’s security deposit for only two (2) things: (1) any unpaid rent which has not been validly withheld or deducted pursuant to state or federal law or local ordinance ; (2) a reasonable amount necessary to repair any damages caused to the premises, reasonable wear and tear excluded. Based on a clear reading of Sections 5-12-080(d)(1) and (2), a Chicago landlord has the right to use a security deposit for unpaid rent and the tenant has that same right. Under the Chicago RLTO, the landlord’s “remedy” for non-payment of rent by a tenant is to deduct from the security deposit. Now the punch line: The infamous lease provision disallowing use of a security deposit for payment of rent waives and foregoes the rights, remedies, and obligations set forth in the Chicago RLTO 5-12-080(d)(1) as stated above. RIGHT?! Pursuant to the Chicago RLTO, a provision such as this is unenforceable and If the landlord “attempts” to enforce this provision a tenant may recover two (2) months’ rent as penalty, plus reasonable attorneys fees, and costs.

First, pursuant RLTO Section 5-12-140(a), no Chicago rental agreement may provide that the landlord or tenant agrees to waive or forego rights, remedies or obligations provided under this chapter. Second, pursuant to Chicago RLTO Section 5-12-080(d), deductions may be made to a Chicago tenant’s security deposit for only two (2) things: (1) any unpaid rent which has not been validly withheld or deducted pursuant to state or federal law or local ordinance ; (2) a reasonable amount necessary to repair any damages caused to the premises, reasonable wear and tear excluded. Based on a clear reading of Sections 5-12-080(d)(1) and (2), a Chicago landlord has the right to use a security deposit for unpaid rent and the tenant has that same right. Under the Chicago RLTO, the landlord’s “remedy” for non-payment of rent by a tenant is to deduct from the security deposit.

Now the punch line:  The infamous lease provision disallowing use of a security deposit for payment of rent waives and foregoes the rights, remedies, and obligations set forth in the Chicago RLTO 5-12-080(d)(1) as stated above.  RIGHT?!

Pursuant to the Chicago RLTO, a provision such as this is unenforceable and If the landlord “attempts” to enforce this provision a tenant may recover two (2) months’ rent as penalty, plus reasonable attorneys fees, and costs.  

Affidavit

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