Successful landlords and property managers in Illinois know the importance of having up-to-date knowledge of landlord-tenant laws. By knowing their rights and responsibilities, landlords are able to avoid any potential mistakes that may land them in court, and require them to spend a great deal of money and time defending themselves against tenant lawsuits and disputes.
The Rights of a Landlord
- Choosing a Tenant: You have the right to select a tenant based on their rental history, credit references, credit checks, guarantees, income information, and other business practices as outlined in the Illinois Human Rights Act. However, you cannot turn down a tenant on the basis of their family status, marital status, sexual orientation, age, gender, religion, origin, race, and disability.
- Collection of Rent and Security Deposit: You may collect a security deposit at the time of signing the tenancy agreement or lease. The amount of this deposit should not exceed the amount of one rental period, which can be 1 week or 1 month. Moreover, you are prohibited to increase the rent deposit in case the tenant has some kind of disability. You are entitled to collect rent from the tenant on its due date as prescribed in the tenancy agreement.
- Increase of Rent: You can increase the rent only once in a 12-month period. Moreover, you are required to give a 30-day notice prior to raising the rent.
- Eviction: If you want to evict a tenant who hasn’t paid their rent, it is essential for you to comply with specific procedures and rules. State laws require the landlord to give at least five days to the tenant to pay the rent. If they fail to do so, only then a landlord can file for eviction.
The Responsibilities of a Landlord
- Access to Essential Services: You must provide access to electricity, hot and cold water, fuel and heat, and other important utilities to your tenants. You may shut these services in the event where you have to make repairs. However, it will be illegal if you cut them off if your tenant hasn’t paid the rent.
- Rental Unit Maintenance: Under the implied warranty of habitability doctrine, you are required by the law to keep your rental units livable. It is important to make repairs, such as damaged pipelines and broken heater, to ensure tenants don’t pursue legal options against you or are forced to move out. However, if the tenants are responsible for the damage, you may not be obligated to perform those repairs.
- Maintaining Common Areas: You must keep the common areas of the building clean and maintained, such as yards and hallways. Moreover, in winters, you are responsible for clearing snow from the driveways and walkways.
- Providing Documents: You are required to provide a copy of the tenancy agreement or lease to your tenant, along with a written notice containing your legal name and address. You cannot charge any fees for such documents. If your tenant asks for rent receipts for their record, you must provide them.
If you are a landlord and your tenants are giving you a hard time, you may take a legal action against them by consulting your situation with an attorney. Contact Casement Group, P.C. today at (847) 888-9300 for a free consultation with an experienced and reliable real estate attorney.