Several Illinois laws provide legal protection to tenants against unfair practices of landlords. If you are renting an apartment or house, it is essential that you are familiar with the law and specific terms and conditions of your rental contract, so that you can avoid issues with the landlord during or at the end of the lease.
Get Everything in Writing
Before you can sign the rental contract, it is imperative that you get a written lease and thoroughly read it. This is an agreement that indicates the amount of the rent, information about the security deposit, the duration of the lease, the terms and conditions related to any rent increase, and your obligations as a renter. By having this in black and white, you can protect yourself later on if the landlord tries to violate any of these terms of the lease. Moreover, you should pay the monthly rent by money order or check instead of cash so that you have a record of payment with you.
Local Building Code
The law requires landlords to keep the apartment building or house up to local building code. The tenantâ€™s responsibility is to strictly follow the lease terms and conditions, keep the property clean, pay the rent on time, take permission before making any structural changes, and provide a notice to the landlord prior to moving out.
Before you move in, you should take pictures or make a video of the rented house or apartment. This helps in avoiding any dispute regarding damages to the property when moving out.
Safeguard your Privacy
Before signing the lease, make sure that you properly go through any provisions that are concerned with privacy issues. Usually, these provisions include the notice period after which the landlord can enter the rental unit and when can the landlord enter without giving a notice. The latter may include a gas leak, fire breakout, or any other emergency situation.
If your rented unit needs some sort of repair, your landlord has a limited time to make them. In case the landlord donâ€™t get the repairs done within that time or fails to cooperate, you should send them a letter via a certified mail. After the duration expires, you have the right to make repairs and deduct the expenses you incurred from the monthly rent payment. It is important that you take before and after pictures and keep receipts, which you can use as proof in case the landlord takes you to court.
One of the most disputed items in a tenant-landlord relationship is the security deposit. The purpose of this deposit is to cover any expenses that the landlord will incur for repairing damages to the rental unit that are other than the normal wear and tear. To preserve your security deposit, make sure that the lease clearly states under what circumstances and how your deposit will be withheld or used. Also, record any existing damage when you first move in and keep a copy of the report you provide the landlord regarding those damages.
If you are facing eviction or your landlord is depriving you of your tenant rights, you should seek legal assistance of an experienced and reliable real estate attorney. Contact the Casement Group, P.C. today at (847) 888-9300 for a free consultation.