Did you know about the rights of residential tenants in Chicago? Tenants are protected by the Chicago Residential Landlord-Tenant Ordinance (“RLTO”). For your financial and legal security, it’s very important to know there are rules governing what landlords can deduct from a security deposit.
Chicago has very strict rules about the abuse of security deposits. Misconduct by a landlord leads to severe penalties. There are also regulations for the lease agreement and the pay rent in Chicago.
For example, did you know that homeowners must keep security deposits in an interest-bearing account? Yes, this account must be insured by the FDIC at a bank located in the State of Illinois. Also, the tenant owns the interest earned on the security deposit.
Returning the security deposit
The landlord must return the security deposit to the tenant after the tenant vacates the premises. Also, notify the landlord of the intent to vacate due to accidental damage. The security deposit must be returned within seven days of the notice. The same applies if the tenant vacates the premises for damages within 45 days. Don’t forget to schedule your move-out cleaning.
The landlord can deduct unpaid rent from the security deposit. Retain a reasonable amount needed to repair any damage caused by a tenant.
The landlord cannot deduct money from the security deposit for normal wear and tear.
Your landlord can deduct from your security deposit for Unpaid rent
Repairs for damage other than normal wear and tear
Under some state laws, the security deposit can also be used to clean a rental unit after the move-out.
To avoid these problems, it is a good idea to do a good cleaning before turning in your apartment. But if you don’t have the time, there are many cleaning companies that offer apartment cleaning. The cost of hiring these services really does save you some headaches in the long run.
What you can't deduct
The landlord can’t keep the money from your security deposit for:
The cost of repairing defects that existed before you moved in.
The condition of your rental unit caused by normal wear and tear.
Find out what landlords can deduct from a security deposit. Know your responsibilities and rights.