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Illinois Leases and Rental Agreements Laws

Maybe you’re a landlord in Evanston with some unruly Northwestern students on your hands. Or maybe you’re renting a place in Chicago and can’t get your heat fixed. Either way, knowing your rights and responsibilities under Illinois’s landlord and tenant laws can keep you out of trouble. Here is a brief summary of lease and rental agreement law in Illinois.

Rental Agreements Laws

Lease and rental agreements are governed by state laws, which define limits on security deposits, time limits for the return of deposits, and other provisions. State leases and rental agreement laws also limit discrimination by landlords. Illinois laws place no limits on the amount of security deposits, but prohibit discrimination on the basis of having children (in addition to the usual prohibitions on discrimination).

Lease and Rental Agreement Laws in Illinois

The main provisions of Illinois leases and rental agreement laws are listed in the table below.

Code Section

65 ILCS 5/11-11.1-1; 775 ILCS 5/3-105, 106; 765 ILCS 715/1

Terms of Leases

Tenant holds over and landlord receives rent, presumed that new year-to-year tenancy created, absent express intent otherwise. (Demerath v. Schennum, 59 N.E.2d 348)


No limits on deposit; interest required on deposit at minimum deposit passbook savings account interest rate paid by largest commercial bank in the state if held for over 6 months and if lessor owns 25 units or more in one building or complex of buildings


No discrimination on basis of race, color, religion, sex, creed, ancestry, national origin, physical/mental handicap; statute repealed prohibiting discrimination against children; provisions for senior citizen housing

Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act Adopted?


Because Illinois has not adopted the Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act (URLTA), your rights as a tenant or your responsibilities as a landlord may depend on your particular lease or rental agreement. Be sure to thoroughly review your lease before signing it, whether you’re a tenant or a landlord. Generally, landlords are required to comply with local building and housing codes, make repairs in a timely fashion, keep the premises in a habitable condition, and supply running water and electricity. On their end, tenants must keep their part of the premises as clean and safe as possible, dispose of garbage and other waste in a responsible manner, and may not deliberately or negligently destroy, damage, or remove any part of the premises. Many leases also prohibit tenants from disturbing their neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.

Illinois Leases and Rental Agreements Laws: Related Resources

It can be difficult to sort out landlord and tenant disputes on your own. You can contact an Illinois landlord-tenant attorney if you would like legal assistance with your case. You can also visit FindLaw's landlord tenant law section for additional articles and resources.

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