Most apartments in Chicago require you to put down a security deposit before renting. However, sometimes it can be hard to get that security deposit back from your landlord when it's time to move out. Luckily, Chicago has some of the nation's best protections for tenants. The Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) provides specific rules that landlords have to follow in regards to security deposits.
If your landlord is refusing to give your deposit back, or has taken an unreasonable deduction from it, call the experienced tenants' rights lawyers at Markoff Leinberger at 888-517-9115 today for your complimentary consultation.
Your Rights As A Tenant Under RLTO
Under the RLTO, your security deposit:
- Must be kept separate from the landlord's personal funds
- Must be kept in an account that accrues interest
- Must be given back, with interest, within 45 days of leaving the apartment
- Can't have unreasonable deductions taken from it
If a landlord wants to deduct money from your security deposit for cleaning and repairs, they must let you know in detail all the damages they are planning to repair and give you an estimate of how much the repairs are going to cost. They must then provide you receipts for all repairs. If they fail to do this, they cannot take deductions from your deposit.
Deductions from a security deposit must be for cleaning and repairs that are beyond normal wear and tear from everyday use. If you think your landlord is trying to take unreasonable deductions, or if they refuse to give you any part of your deposit back, contact our consumer law attorneys for a free consultation.
Landlords are also required to tell you what bank your security deposit is being held in. This information should be on your lease.
What Can You Do About Security Deposit Withholding?
If your landlord is illegally holding your security deposit, you may be entitled to damages including twice the amount of the deposit as well as the deposit itself. In addition, the landlord is responsible for paying your attorney fees.
As a tenant in Chicago, you have more rights than you think. While there are many ethical landlords, there are many more unscrupulous ones who will try to illegally take all or most of your deposit. They are counting on the fact that many tenants don't know their rights or think that they can't afford an attorney.
Under the RLTO, tenants have the power to fight back against unscrupulous landlords. Contact Markoff Leinberger to learn if you have a solid claim against your landlord. Consultations are free and zero obligation, so you have nothing to lose by calling.
In addition to security deposit cases, we can help with other tenant/landlord disputes such as uninhabitable living conditions, refusal to perform routine maintenance or respond to maintenance requests in a timely manner, overcharging for utilities, and more.
Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation
If you are a tenant with a dispute against your landlord, don't hesitate to contact Markoff Leinberger today at 888-517-9115 to schedule your complimentary consultation. We serve clients in Chicago and nationwide.