Historically, many Chicago and Evanston area landlords have not always adhered to legal ordinances regarding security deposits and breaking a lease in chicago. Many hold back security deposits and sometimes even a portion of the tenant's rent in an illegal effort to not return all monies due to the tenant. Landlords have also frequently used withholding a security deposit as an intimidation tactic. Unlawfully withholding a security deposit can be stressful and troubling for a tenant simply looking to move on. Thankfully, there are some Illinois ordinances in place to help tenants rightfully recover their money. In Evanston, landlords must abide by the Evanston Residential Landlord & Tenant Ordinance or ERLTO, while landlords in Chicago must abide the Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance or RLTO.
Both ordinances protects tenants and provides for substantial damages for tenants when their rights under the ordinances have been violated. A good Illinois tenants lawyer can help enforce the protections you rightfully deserve and help ensure that the landlord pays for their illegal withholding of your funds. In some cases, the landlord may be ordered to pay the tenant's attorney's fees. In other cases, the landlord may be ordered to pay damages equal to twice as much the tenant's security deposit or monthly rent. The damages awarded could also be any combination of any of the above stated awards.
In Evanston, the tenant must have been a resident of a building with five units or more. The qualifications vary only slightly in Chicago. Student renters have rights under the two ordinances as well as statewide. Under the Evanston Residential Landlord & Tenant Ordinance or ERLTO, landlords have 21 days to return or provide an accounting for tenant security deposits. The ERLTO also requires the accounting to be provided in writing. A written account, however, is not an RLTO requirement and does not always apply to other statewide ordinances.
The Evanston Residential Landlord & Tenant Ordinance or ERLTO and the Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance or RLTO also provide for other tenant protections as well. Namely, the landlord may not enter the tenant's apartment to show the unit without a notification happening at least two days advance.