Illinois Landlord Tenant Laws
Landlords and tenants share one thing in common in relation to owning or renting property; both wish to stay on the "right" side of the law. To remain compliant with local, state and federal laws, it is important to know the laws that have been established for tenants and landlords, in the state of Illinois. Below are several facts that a person should know when looking to become a landlord or tenant.
The lease agreement that exists between landlord and tenant, in which the tenant rents or "leases" the landlord's property for an agreed upon sum of money, can be written or oral. If the lease is one year or longer, a written agreement must be prepared. A lease should include both the name of the landlord or property manager and the tenant, the begin and ending dates of the lease contract, the amount of rent payable each month, and the date in which the rent is due monthly.
Landlords have an obligation to abide by the terms of the lease, and any violation can constitute a "breach" or "broken" agreement. If the property lease includes responsibilities of the landlord, and the landlord is unable to fulfill those responsibilities, the landlord is in violation of the lease. For example, a landlord that fails to maintain the property in a habitable and clean environment, is in violation the "implied warranty of liability," portion of Illinois Landlord Tenant Act. Implied warranty of liability is automatically inferred with every property lease in Illinois, regardless of whether it's included on the actual lease.
A landlord can also violate the lease agreement, by failing to return a security deposit, as long as no damage has been done to the rental beyond an amount that is considered "normal."
Tenants have an obligation to abide by the lease terms as well, and failing to do so can constitute a broken lease agreement. A tenant that fails to pay the rent when due, fails to leave the rental after the lease term has ended or damages property is in violation of the rental agreement.
When a tenant fails to abide by the lease terms, eviction from the rental can take place. The process begins when the landlord sends a notice to "pay rent or quit." The notice can range from five days to thirty days. If the rent is paid in full in accordance with the notice, the eviction process stops. If the rent is not paid by the tenant in accordance with the notice and the eviction proceeds, the landlord must file complaint in a circuit court of the county where the property is located. A copy is then sent to the tenant who will need to respond to defend the eviction, and appear in court.