Tenant's Rights

Chicago and Illinois News and Updates

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Forcible entry and detainer

posted Mar 18, 2015, 2:30 PM by Laura Hoover

House Bill 160

(Thapedi, D-Chicago) provides that the owner may recover rent or a fair and reasonable satisfaction for use and occupation if the lands or tenements are held by a tenant who is a defendant in an eviction or possession action who continues to maintain possession of the land throughout the duration of the pending eviction or possession action. If an order for use and occupancy is granted to the plaintiff and the defendant violates the order by willfully failing to pay the ordered amount, it requires the court to set a firm trial date for the pending eviction possession action no less than seven days from the date that this order is entered. Makes the defendant responsible for the plaintiff’s costs and attorney’s fees. If the defendant is successful in the underlying eviction or possession action, the defendant is entitled to the return of any use and occupancy payments made to the plaintiff on his or her behalf plus statutory interest. Exempts property subject to the Condominium Property Act.

The Security Deposit Interest Act

posted Mar 18, 2015, 2:27 PM by Laura Hoover

House Bill 1319 provides that the requirement that a lessor pay accumulated interest within 30 days after the end of each 12-month rental period applies to interest that has accumulated to an amount of $5 or more. Requires that the lessor pay all interest that has accumulated and remains unpaid, regardless of the amount, upon termination of the tenancy. Assigned to House Judiciary Committee (Civil).


Heat In Your Chicago Apartment: Part 1 - Get enough?

posted Feb 19, 2015, 9:42 AM by Laura Hoover

YouTube Video

Landlord Failing to Deliver Possession of Rental Unit?

posted Oct 21, 2014, 2:11 PM by Laura Hoover

If your landlord willfully fails to deliver possession of the rental property to you by the date stated in your lease, you, the renter, may recover from their landlord up to twice the month's rent or twice the actual damages sustained (for example - if you had to stay at a hotel), whichever is greater.

Encountering Late Fees?

posted Sep 25, 2014, 10:15 AM by Laura Hoover

Many renters are unaware that their landlord is charging them excessive late fees. The Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) prohibits excessive late fees. See 5-12-140(h). Late fees are limited to $10 for the first $500 of rent and 5% of any amount over $500. If your landlord attempts to enforce an excessive late fee, you may recover two (2) month’s rent from your landlord.

Getting Repairs To Your Unit

posted Sep 8, 2014, 1:24 PM by Laura Hoover

If the lease states that the landlord is to make needed repairs, the renter should give the landlord written notice of the needed repair. The landlord must make the repair within a reasonable amount of time. If the landlord does not make the repair, a renter has options:
  • if the unit is uninhabitable without the repair, terminate the lease
  • stay in the unit and sue the landlord
  • make repairs and deduct the cost of the repairs from the rent due

Is Your Landlord Retaliating Against You For Requesting Repairs?

posted Aug 21, 2014, 2:38 PM by Laura Hoover   [ updated Sep 8, 2014, 1:24 PM ]

Your landlord may not knowingly terminate your tenancy, increase your rent, decrease services, bring or threaten to bring a lawsuit against you as their tenant or refuse to renew your lease if you, as a tenant, have requested repairs to be made to your unit that your landlord is required to make. If your landlord does retaliate against you for requesting the repairs, you can regain possession (if they terminated your tenancy or refused to renew your lease) or terminate the rental agreement AND receive money up to two months of your rent PLUS your attorneys fees.

5-12-150: Prohibition on retaliatory conduct by landlord.

Encountering Move-In Fees?

posted Jul 25, 2014, 11:16 AM by Laura Hoover

When confronted with move-in fees, there is often a question of whether these fees are refundable or not. Some consider these fees to be similar to a security deposit or prepaid rent; however, they are not. The RLTO does provide for regulation of move-in fees and the Court's have declined to treat move-in fees the same as security deposits and prepaid rents. If your move-in fee is labeled as "nonrefundable", the Courts will not require your landlord to return it to you.

Steenes v. Mac Property Management, LLC, 2014 IL App (1st) 120719 (July 23, 2014) Cook Co., 3d Div. (PUCINSKI) Affirmed.

Do You Know What Your Landlord Did With Your Security Deposit?

posted May 20, 2014, 1:35 PM by Laura Hoover   [ updated Jul 7, 2014, 3:09 PM ]

The Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance requires your landlord to hold your security deposit in an account that gains interest. Just about every tenant I speak with has no idea what their landlord did with their security deposit. You have a right to know! In fact, your landlord needs to tell you the name and address of the bank or financial institution holding your security deposit. This information should be provided to you in your written rental agreement or, if you don't have a written rental agreement, in writing within 14-days after the security deposit was provided to your landlord. What if your landlord doesn't provide this information to you as the tenant? The tenant is then entitled to receive double your security deposit back from your landlord!

Proposed Amendment to Forcible Entry and Detainer section of the Code of Civil Procedure

posted May 16, 2014, 1:53 PM by Laura Hoover   [ updated Jul 7, 2014, 3:09 PM ]

If passed, would do three things: (1) Limits the number of motions a tenant may file to stay the enforcement of an order for possession to two unless good cause is shown by written motion. (2) Allows a "peace officer" to execute an order for possession. (3) Also allows service of an order of possession by an off-duty peace officer who is employed on a part-time basis by a licensee under the Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security, Fingerprint Vendor, and Locksmith Act of 2004.

Read House Bill 5395 here.

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