Both Tenants and Landlords Have Rights, According to Landlord and Tenant Law in Chicago

There are few business relationships that can become as difficult as those between landlords and tenants. Although landlord and tenant law in Chicago is designed to protect the rights of both parties, disagreements frequently arise. When this happens, an attorney experienced in landlord and tenant law can help to resolve the issue. Both landlords and tenants have legal rights, some of which are listed below.

Landlord Rights

  • Landlords have the legal right to reject a prospective tenant if they have a bad credit history, a history of late or missed rent payments or negative references from past landlords. The landlord is not allowed to reject a tenant on the basis of race, gender, having young children or being in other federally protected categories.
  • When a tenant doesn’t pay the rent, the landlord can file for eviction if the tenant doesn’t pay or moves in five days.

Tenant Rights

  • Landlords or building managers must give you a two days’ notice before entering the apartment. If there is an emergency, the tenant must be notified of the emergency entry within the next two days. Landlords are not allowed to drop in whenever they please.
  • Landlords are not allowed to cut off electricity, water and heat regardless of a problem between the landlord and tenant. If that happens, the tenant has several options. First, they must give written notice of the lack of service to the landlord. The landlord can be given 24 hours to fix the problem. Other options include deducting from the rent the cost of alternative services or finding another place to live. Alternatively, if the tenant remains in the apartment without services such as heat or electricity, they are legally allowed to pay a lower rent for that period or file a lawsuit for damages.
  • If you have a bad apartment, a landlord isn’t allowed to retaliate if you complain to the media or anyone else, as long as it’s true.

Landlord and tenant law in Chicago details the rights of landlords and tenants, but these disputes can become complicated. Starr Bejgiert Zink & Rowells has more than 80 years of combined experience with landlord/tenant issues. When you need a lawyer on your side, contact this firm.

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