Q.: What is the maximum amount my rent can be raised? 

A.: There is NO legal maximum for a rent increase. There is no "rent control" in Illinois. 

Q.: When is rent late? 

A.: If it is paid after the date agreed upon. There is no legal "grace period" for paying rent late--even if there is a grace period before a late fee is imposed. 
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Break Lease: 
Q.: If I move before the end of my lease, is my landlord supposed to help me end my lease? 

A.: Yes. Your landlord must consistently try to show and offer your apartment until it is re-rented. 

Q.: Is my lease cancelled early if I get a job out of state? 

A.: No. By itself, a job transfer will not legally cancel your lease. 

Q.: If my landlord tells me verbally that itís OK for me to move before the end of my lease, is my lease broken? 

A.: No. Any agreement to end your lease should be made in writing. 
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Q.: Should I stop paying rent to pressure my landlord to make repairs? 

A.: No. The law allows you only to pay a reduced rent for the actual reduced value of your apartment. 

Q.: Can I pay a reduced rent if I have already told my landlord about the defects in my apartment? 

A.: Advanced written notice would be required first. In Chicago, Evanston, or Mt. Prospect, that procedure is spelled out in their city ordinances. 

Q.: Can my landlord evict me for complaining about maintenance problems? 

A.: It would be illegal retaliation for your landlord to attempt to do so. 
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Q.: When can my landlord throw me out of my apartment? 

A.: Never. ONLY a County sheriff can legally remove you from your apartment. 

Q.: When can my landlord go to the sheriff to have me thrown out? 

A.: Your landlord first has to take you to Court, and get a Court order ordering you to move. 

Q.: Can my landlord change the locks on my apartment and not give me the key? 

A.: No. In Chicago, it is a criminal offense for your landlord to lock you out, or to turn off your utilities. It is also improper everywhere else in Illinois. 
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Security Deposit: 
Q.: Are there any legitimate reasons for my landlord to withhold my security deposit after I move? 

A.: There are only two legal reasons: (1) If you owe rent, or (2) if you caused damage to the property, beyond "normal wear and tear", and the landlord can prove he or she spent money to repair that damage. 

Q.: Do I have to receive interest on my security deposit? 

A.: In most properties in Chicago, Evanston, or Mt. Prospect, you should be paid interest each year. Elsewhere in Illinois, you are required to be paid interest only if you live in a building or complex with 25 or more apartments. 

Q.: Does my landlord have to return my deposit before I move? 

A.: No. Your landlord is legally provided 45 days after you move to return your money.
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If you have any questions or would like more information, or to discuss your rights please contact us (773) 478-1133, email us, or use our online request form.

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